“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Hope is defined as “To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.” As believers, our hope is in the Lord and in His Word. We are encouraged to wait for God hopefully, expectantly ( Psalm 25:21; 27:14; 40:1; 130:5).
Peter tells us that as believers we have been born again to a “living hope.” Our hope should not be in things that are only fleeting — money, fame, power, nor the wisdom of men which is foolishness to God. These things will one day come to an end, to have hope in them is to have only a dead hope. We have an inheritance in Christ and our future is bright.
When Jesus said to Nicodemus “you must be born again.” Nicodemus pondered how can I be born again. Can I go back into my mother’s womb? Jesus replies by telling him that he must be born of water and of the Spirit, to enter into the kingdom of God.
We are Kingdom citizens. Being born of the Spirit brings us into a place where we are in a right relationship with God. It is a work of God, not of man. Our faith is placed in Christ who becomes our living hope. We no longer live according to the dictates of the flesh with our minds set on what the flesh desires. We should be living in accordance with the Spirit having our minds set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5). . Our new life, one that is full of life and vigor is hidden in Christ with God (Colossians 3:3). The flesh only craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.
We die to our old life setting our hearts and minds on things above, not on earthly things. We let go of whatever belongs to our earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Putting those things to death. Getting rid of such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. We put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of our Creator God.
In this new life there is no distinction between nationality or race. We are all one in Christ. As believers holy and dearly loved, we clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We don’t wear hate and disdain for those who are different or have different beliefs than we do. We are called to unity in the Spirit. Being like minded, we put up with and make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends us just as the Lord has forgiven us. Above all, we clothe ourselves with love, that binds us all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3).
When trouble arises our hope is in the Lord. We are not just hoping to die and one day go to Heaven although Heaven is our home. We sojourn here with confidence that we can make a Kingdom difference impacting nations and people groups with the love of Christ. Christ peace rules in our hearts, since as members of one body we were called to peace. And thankful for the living hope we have in Christ Jesus! The message of Christ, in all its richness, fills our lives with hope teaching and counseling each other with all the wisdom He gives. We sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
This Thanksgiving I encourage each and everyone to place their hope in the Greater One. Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.