–by Allan Pole

Purple flower going out of a crack in the cementA self-made millionaire, Eugene Lang greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem, New York. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these predominantly African American and Puerto Rican children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. “Stay in school,” he admonished, “and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.”

At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. Said one student, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.” Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school (https://duaneharder.com/finding-hope-when-life-seems-hopeless).

Hope has a way of encouraging and empowering people through the darkest hours. Would you please take a few moments to read about hope in 1 Peter 1:3-12?

We have a living hope in His glory (1 Peter 1:3-4).

Jesus Christ is twice the firstborn. He is firstborn or pre-eminent over all creation because all things were created through Him. He is also the firstborn from among the dead—the first to be resurrected unto eternal life, pioneering the path for us to follow Him. As the firstborn in God’s family and the oldest brother, Jesus is entitled to double the inheritance, but He has chosen to share His glory and legacy with us. Our hope is a living hope made alive by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This inheritance is kept in heaven for us and is the safest and most secure inheritance we could ever desire. It is not subject to circumstances, to attacks of the enemy, or to the economy.

When you think of hope, to what do you look forward? Do you think of your birthday present, the weekend, your holidays, or your retirement? I encourage you to set your mind on the things above and spend more time thinking about His glory that Jesus shares and will share with you.

We have a living hope in our grief (1 Peter 1:5-7).

Peter is writing to followers of Jesus scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Many had been chased from their homes by the persecution that broke out in their home city of Jerusalem. Sadly, they resisted, persecuted and eventually chased those who followed Jesus from the city rather than embrace their Messiah. You can read more about this at http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org/early-christian-persecution-faq.htm.

When the Bible promises God’s faithfulness through such suffering and grief, it does not offer an escape from hardship. Instead, the Lord promises His presence and peace through it all. Through such grief, our faith can either be purified or destroyed. What will happen to our faith when we go through difficult times?

We have a living hope in our goal (1 Peter 1:8-9).

I can sympathize with doubting Thomas in John 20:26-29. Jesus has revealed Himself physically to very few people, while most of us love Him and believe in Him even though we have not seen Him. As a result, we long for His return. One day we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

My father-in-law would remind me, “It is easier to walk uphill when you know where you are going.”

As much as we will grow by following Jesus, our goal is not self-improvement. As much as we might prosper financially by following kingdom principles, our goal is not to be wealthy. As attractive as we become by loving others, our goal is not to be popular. Our goal is to be with the Lord for eternity! When you make a mental list of people that you want to be with, who is at the top of the list?

We have a living hope in His Gospel (1 Peter 1:10-12).

There is good advice in the Bible, but God’s Word is more than a collection of good advice. Good News permeates the Scriptures! For generations leading up to the birth of Christ, prophets looked forward to His appearing (http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/m_prophecies.shtml):

The Old Testament books in the Bible (all of them written between 1450 B.C. and 430 B.C.) contained hundreds of prophecies about an “anointed one” (“Messiah” in Hebrew) who would arrive in their future.

We are tremendously privileged, for even the angels long to look into these things. The Holy Spirit does not teach angels the ways of God but quickens our hearts and minds to the Good News of Jesus Christ.

A boy and his father were planning a fishing trip for the next day. That evening as the father was putting his son to bed, the boy hugged his father’s neck and said, “Daddy, thank you for tomorrow.”

What is your living hope for an eternity with Jesus Christ? Is it your good works, church attendance or charitable donations? None of these will secure the salvation of your soul. If you have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you can accept Him today and live with a brand-new future ahead of you.

Our hope is built not on a slim chance but a sure foundation.

Foundation of a building with rebar sticking straight up

Allan Pole

CESLM President