Text: 1 Peter 1:13
Today is another year. New Year 2022. 2021 is done, and we are now venturing through this year. But New Years are not something mystical nor magical. We sometimes think that when 12AM arrives, all the challenges, trials, and sufferings last year will vanish or at least reduce. However, it does not work that way. It ain’t like a firework that once it blasted up in the sky after a second it will be gone. No. It is not.
But, take note of this, if given all the opportunity and chance from God, staying “not okay” is not okay. Yes, we feel sad and disappointed, but we are not called to stay there. That is why New Years are there to remind us about a HOPEFUL NEW YEAR. And in our passage today, it points us that the ultimate foundation of this Hope is no other than the Person of Jesus Christ.
Our hope is dependent on the things that are yet to come but Jurgen Moltmann’s Theology of hope states that the Christian is to be seen as a “hoper,” someone who is impatient and terribly dissatisfied with the current status of the world.
1 Peter 1:3 states there that salvation is due to God’s mercy, grace, and sovereignty, for he miraculously gave sinners new life. Wherein we already have it, the hope of Christians is their future resurrection. Believers have an unshakable hope for the future, for Christ’s resurrection is a pledge of their own future resurrection. Have you ever asked the question: What makes you, you? What is the essence of your unique personhood? What does that taproot from which the flower of your individuality grows?
I. Christian Hope
Theology of hope makes eschatology its central governing concept; all other teachings revolve around eschatology and are only properly understood in that view. It begins not with creation, but with the resurrection of Christ (1 Peter 1:3). Eschatology means the doctrine of Christian hope. The whole idea behind the “theology of hope” is the hope of the believer. It is hope which sustains and carries each believer through life. It is “hope” that changes us, hope that changes the world. It is an expectation that the promises of God are already in the process of fulfillment.
II. Hope Fully
And as you all know, the Bible—especially Peter’s first letter—does not ease our burden by saying: “When things are tough, don’t fret about others; take care of yourself.” In fact, Peter seems to suggest that the tougher the times, the greater the need to live a life of love for others.
When Peter says in 1:13, “Hope fully in the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” he does not mean we should desire it and be uncertain of it. The coming of Christ is a matter of complete confidence for all the writers in the New Testament. So, the command, “Hope fully,” means be intensely desirous and fully confident that Jesus Christ is coming again with grace for his people.
One of the comments in Katie Ganshert’s book entitled The Art of Losing Yourself, was a beautiful story of endurance and hope–offering no easy answers but the irresistible light of Christ to guide us. Both in our personal lives and in our community that the only hope is Christ, in which it is the gospel to be preached, shared, and proclaimed. Let’s not keep this hope and let others lose again the hope they are longing for.
Christian hope arises in the heart through hearing a credible testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
January 2, 2022
This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.