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'New hope' trumps temptation
Pastor's corner
pastor corner

Last week we noticed (from 1 Peter 1:3) that the Apostle Peter wrote to a people who needed strength and courage to endure persecution and to be successful in their quest for heaven.

He wrote to them about a "lively" hope.

It was by Jesus’s resurrection from the dead that he made possible a living hope. A hope that the resurrection showed, without doubt, Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah.

Paul wrote of many who had witnessed the resurrected Savior. Jesus had been seen by Peter and the other disciples, then by more than 500, then James, and finally by Paul himself (1 Cor. 15:1-8).

This "new hope," would give the Christians a desire for better things in a better place.

Hope, as used by Peter in this verse, is a hope of keen anticipation. Struggles of life were many for his readers. Trials and persecution could and would weigh them down.

The temptation was present to become like the world (1 Peter 2:1). He would instruct them not to be the world, which was full of hypocrisies, malice and guile, but to desire the word as if they were newborns (1 Peter 2:1, 2).

If there was no hope of a better life in eternity, why would they need to be faithful to the Lord? What purpose would they have to live for? They indeed would have been "most miserable."

Given the surroundings of those to whom Peter wrote, this hope was welcomed. Their anticipation of their reward made it easier to face the wickedness of the world.

This new hope was a hope that centers on eternity and having a home in heaven. John wrote of Jesus telling his disciples of his Father’s house having many mansions.

The word mansion refers to plenty of space for all who desire to be there. It is a place void of the temptations and corruption of this world, for there will be no sickness and dying that home (Rev. 21:4).

This new hope was one to be longed for by the Christians.

While Peter was writing to a people many centuries ago, the application of what he says rings true today for the Christian.

The present world is full of sin and suffering. Christians in some places are persecuted even unto death. Others suffer being considered outcasts, laughed at by "knowledgeable" people, thought of as archaic.

It is tempting today for the Christian to forget the hope that one has in Jesus. Satan tempts one to become like the world, trusting only in self, living for gain, mistreating one’s fellowman.

The beauty of this new hope is that one can come renew their hope again by turning back from the path that led them away from their hope.

God in his mercy stands ready to forgive and receive them again. Once again, they can have that eager anticipation of a home with God in eternity, being able to face the temptations that come their way.

With this new hope in their life, they come to realize that temptations will come (James 1:2, 3), but with their hope is Jesus renewed, and they can overcome those things.

When Satan by the world dangles the pleasures of sin before them, they can realize it is only for a season, just as Moses did in the long ago (Heb. 11:24, 25).

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3).

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