Our Sure HopeDecember 20, 2017 Pastor's Pen
Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Recently, while on a walk, I paused to observe people tossing coins, as they closed their eyes (perhaps praying?), into a water fountain located in a nearby shopping area. In particular, one elderly woman, heavily disabled, caught my attention. As she shed a few tears, prayed a prayer, and then tossed a coin into the water fountain, it was evident that she was “hoping” for healing, of some sort. Perhaps she really believed, within her worldview, that what she was doing would truly bring change. In the past, something like this would have angered me, or caused a bit of resentment. To some extent or another, such things still do, but more than anything I feel compassion for people like this. For, were it not for God’s grace, I too would be looking for hope in all of the wrong places to my trials. There was a time when I would largely look to other things for hope.
Peter, writing to believers who were beginning to experience persecution wrote,
“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, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice…” (1 Pet 1:3-6).
Peter points these Christians not to earthly comfort, health, wealth, and prosperity, but to the hope that they have in Christ Jesus. Their “living hope,” which consisted of their “inheritance” is described as “imperishable” (not subject to passing away), “undefiled” (not subject to tampering or pollution), and “will not fade away” (not subject to withering or decaying). It is not earthly, in nature, but “reserved in heaven for you.” It is not dependent upon them in any way, but they themselves are “protected by the power of God” for a future salvation to be revealed when Christ returns!
Like Christians in Peter’s day, we are to hold on, by His grace, to our Sure Hope, found only in Jesus Christ. Christmas time is a great time to remember that Jesus’ Person and Work on the cross is the reason why we can look upon our present circumstances here on this earth with a healthy “spiritual” smile, for life is not ultimately about this present life, but the one to come. Nothing that happens in this life, especially those things that are unfavorable, can rob us of the great “spiritual blessings” that are ours in abundance, not only in this life, but more so, in the one to come. May Jesus truly be the “reason for the season” in our hearts, in our homes, and in our testimony before a watching world. There will be ample opportunities this holiday season to point people to our Sure Hope, in our words and example.