THE POWER OF A LIVING HOPE—VICTORY AND JOY! “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6--9 NIV). If you have been following the posts on the Living Hope then you will recognize that what I have to say regarding the Power of a Living Hope is based on the foundational verses of 1 Peter 1:3-5. You may want to read those verses again.
The people Peter was writing to had undergone severe trials and tribulation because of their faith in Jesus Christ. In fact they were still undergoing trials. But in the middle of the trails they were rejoicing because of the Living Hope they had and their expectations of the future. Their victory would lie in their faith being proved genuine which will bring praise, glory and honor to Jesus when He returns. People who have a Living Hope can be victorious in the middle of the worst of circumstances because God is with them and the Holy Spirit is living in them. The Living Hope brings power to overcome adversity.
The Living Hope in Christ brings great rejoicing (v.6) and glorious joy (v.8). Christians should be joyful people. We should be full of smiles and optimism. Even in the middle of trouble there should be a deep abiding joy that comes from knowing Jesus. Does that mean that we should not be realists about the world around us or just put on a smiley face and muddle our way through? Not at all. It simply means that we let the God of joy shine through us even in the worst of circumstances. When Jesus started His public ministry on earth He knew that in three years He would be hanging on a cross. But everywhere Jesus went He brought joy to those who wanted to be close to Him. He came to do the same for us as we live our lives on this earth. Joy comes from knowing Jesus and letting Him live through us.
Real joy, even in trials, comes from the Living Hope of “Christ in us the Hope of glory.” More to come on this topic.