GOD'S PROMISE GIVES US HOPE
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
1 Peter 1:13-15
How do you start your day? Honestly, what is the first thing that you do to start your day. Is it with already being overwhelmed with what the day has to offer? Is it with pure joy and excitement, looking forward to what God is going to reveal? Is it with angst, anxiety, aspiration or anticipation? There is so many ways that we could all answer this question, but for me in the last 17 months it has been with the word HOPE. I can honestly say that I wake up every day with hope that God is gong to use me to once again inspire others and change the world. I am not saying that I am the eternal optimist, but I am saying that I have had both good days and bad. Days where I struggled to make it through and really was not looking forward to what may come next. And there are days that I am so excited that I cannot even sleep. Don't judge me... even at my age I have a child like faith of hope that drives every breath that I take. It does not mean that I don't get tired or frustrated. It doesn't mean that I cannot see the reality that is right in front of me. God's promise of Hope is so much more than the condition I am in or the direction I am going. It is the promise that regardless of my situation I am not alone.
I can tell you that I have been in that place mentally and spiritually before. I have been in that place where I have struggled and doubted. We all have at one time or another. I know that God continues to spur me on and provide opportunities for me to fully rely on Him. There are places all throughout the Bible where God has restored hope to the hopeless. The
Israelites, David, Ruth, the disciples, Noah, Daniel, Moses, Sarah, etc... I literally could go on and on and on. God's Word is filled with HOPE and the restitution of HOPE to God's Creation. I mean just think about the fall of man in Genesis 3. God could have wiped it all out right there and washed His hands, but He didn't. Instead, He called them to be fruitful and prosper and gave them clothes to cover them. He gave them hope that even though they had lost Eden.. they had not lost His love for them. So it is with my personal journey. I know that I have gained and lost a lot in my short lifetime. I know that I have humbled myself and given my life to God and also been selfish at times and not willing to surrender everything to God. I don't surrender because I feel as though I can handle it myself and that causes me to get into a deeper pit that I cannot get out of by myself. But God is there to give me hope and to pull me out of my failures. God is there through the example of Christ to provide for me an example of humility and a reminder that when the world was lost... God still gave us hope through the blood of the Lamb.
Peter is the author of our Scripture for today. He is one that has been on both sides of the coin in his spiritual journey. He has definitely questioned Jesus process and stepped out on faith. He was one that quickly reacted out of anger and haste, and one that saw the power of Jesus to restore. He truly lost all hope when he denied Jesus three times, but experienced the greatest joy on the beach when asked three times if he loved Jesus. In our words from today, we are able to see the maturity of Peter's understanding of God's promise of hope. Peter is fully teaching us that regardless of where we are today, we are to set our hope on the glory of God that is still to come through Christ Jesus. We are called to live in hope that leads us to holiness. We are given an opportunity to step away from the evil and the failures of this world and turn back towards the HOPE that gives us a greater understanding of faith, love and mercy. Peter was one that constantly messed up, but continued to move forward with the HOPE that on his living testimony the Church would be built. If you were able to open your eyes today, God has a purpose and hope for you. God has a plan for us to turn from evil and to run towards the open arms of the Father. God has a call for us to realize that Christ is in all of us and that gives us HOPE for Glory.
So as we continue to look at the state of a fallen world, I pray that you will see HOPE that God has given us another day to make a difference. I pray that we will all realize that each day is not our own, but an opportunity to see the fullness of God's eternal plan. We are constantly called to speak of the HOPE that is to come and I pray that even in our darkest
moments, we feel the fullness of God's love. May we strive to get up and push through the days of despair. May we surround ourselves with people who will pray and encourage us with the understanding that we are to do the same for others. HOPE is a powerful word that has allowed so many to receive the ability to endure and toady I once again claim HOPE for this day in the name of Jesus. I know that there is a lot of ways today may go, and I'm sure it will continue to cause me anxiety and joy. But when I live into the hope of that this is the day that the Lord has made... there is nothing else for me to do but to rejoice and be glad in it. You can start singing the rest of the words of the song. But really I wake up every day and realize that I carry that same HOPE that God gave to me through the gift of His Son Jesus. I carry that hope with me and pray that I am able to share it with others that I encounter along the way. Thank you God for another day to step into your promise of HOPE.