THE POWER OF A LIVING HOPE—TWO MORE THINGS! “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 1:8-9 NIV).
The Living Hope in Jesus lets us believe in Him even though we have never physically seen Him. Unsaved people do not understand Christians. How can we believe in someone we have never physically seen? How can we hang our eternal destiny on someone who has never been physically in our presence? This is a good discussion topic and well worth pursuing BUT for our purposes let me give you the short answer. IT IS ALL GOD’S WORK (1 Peter 1:3). Ephesians 2:8 says it this way, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” God enables the Christian to have faith. Without God’s help none of us would believe in Jesus and be saved. Jesus said, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men to myself” (John 12:32 NIV). Without the power of Jesus’ resurrection and His work in drawing us to Himself none of us would believe.
The Living Hope in Jesus Christ helps us to follow in the footsteps of the prophets of the Old Testament and the Apostles of the New Testament. The Old Testament Prophets preached God’s Word even when they didn’t always understand it. It came from God and they preached it. And often what they preached wasn’t for their benefit it was for the benefit of the people of Peter’s day and for us today. Many of those prophets paid for their diligence by having their lives snuffed out by the enemies of God. But because of them we enjoy God’s Word and God’s salvation today.
We live in a selfish generation. It is a me-me-me generation. What is in it for me? What have you done for me lately? What are you going to do for me tomorrow? We have the Living Hope of Jesus living in us. Jesus said we are to be like the prophets of old…those people who gave their lives that we might have the Word of God. Jesus said, “Preach the gospel to the entire world.” That is a command we have from Him. And because we have the Living Hope living in us we need to be obedient to Him and preach the gospel without worrying about what’s in it for us. We need to forget our self-centeredness and our desire to live comfortable lives and begin to preach The Living Hope to the lost world around us. The POWER OF THE LIVING HOPE equips us to do that and only our sinful selves will keep us from being obedient to His command.