Thursday, February 21, 2008

Living Hope

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3

When I was a little girl, our family of four bravely ventured on a trip from our home in Connecticut to visit relatives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. We Zines weren’t big travelers, so this trip was a very big deal. It was summer. We would drive for three days, stopping at hotels each night. Exciting times.

The first day didn’t go too badly. We drove as far as Washington, D.C. and took a quick tour of the sights. The second day was not so pleasant. Margie and I had already blown through the new toys my mom bought for the trip. We were tired of being in the car. Poor little Margie got carsick-- and we had to make several stops for her to be sick on the side of the road. And it was HOT. The south was in the middle of a record heat wave. Our car did not have air conditioning (few did in those days) and the constant humid, hot air blowing in on us did nothing to cool us down. By the time we hit South Carolina, every one of us was wilted and desperate to get out of that car. Dad pulled into the first decent motel and got out to rent a room. They were full up. That began a nightmarish hour of going to hotel after hotel, to no avail. Every one we tried had no room at the inn. Finally, an angel disguised as a hotel clerk got on the phone for my dad and found us a place to stay. We wearily pulled up to our hotel and just about kissed the ground of it's parking lot.

The next morning, Dad took a new tactic. Using his roadmap as a guide, he called ahead to the next planned stop location and made a reservation. We traveled that day in the security of the knowledge that no matter what happened on the road, a swim in a hotel pool and a cool, soft bed awaited us at the end of that day’s travel. It made all the difference in how we faced another day’s journey.

Peter wrote about a “living hope” that we have in Jesus Christ. It is part of the package that we received at the time of our salvation. First Corinthians 6:11 tells us we received justification. This term is a legal term, meaning we were declared innocent of all unrighteousness. We also received sanctification. The Greek root for this word means set apart for a new relationship with God. Finally, Romans 8:30 tells us we received glorification. Usually we think of our glorification as something that will be done for us in the future. Yet when Paul wrote about it in Romans, he used the aorist verb tense, which denotes an action which has already been completed.

In other words, the living hope we have for glory is a done deal. Already accomplished. Checked off the list. Our name is written in the book of life, in indelible ink (Rev 20:12). We have a guaranteed reservation for Heaven, with all of the benefits that living there will entail. Knowing this should impact how we conduct ourselves in the journey.

I wonder if that is why Peter called it a living hope. It is not only hope which affects our eternal life in the future. It is a hope that has a tremendous influence on us as we live right now. Being secure in where we will end up makes the trip through this life bearable. Hope makes all the difference.

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

Loved the devotional. I put one on my blog.

I want to submit an article to Discipleship Journal. Would you be willing and able to give the query etc. a once over?

I really like your blog.