Now that I am retired, I am able to listen and watch the media more. What I have noted is that there is so much gloom and doom about the state of politics both nationally and internationally and a variety of issues such the future of the planet as climate change becomes more real and the rise of radical groups to mention just a few.
What is missing in the narrative is the message of hope that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. In the first 9 verses of 1 Peter 1, the writer classically summarises that there is great cause for hope, and you can almost hear him shouting it out to anyone who was prepared to listen. The hope that St Peter talks about is a living hope – not a forlorn hope such as hoping that our football team wins this weekend!!
The message that Peter espouses is that our hope is two-fold – firstly of eternal life and secondly that Christ will walk with us during the trials and tribulations of this current life.
The promise of eternal life is clearly spelt out. Verse 3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish…” This is hope that the world finds hard to comprehend but needs to hear.
Verses 6 – 8 explain that life will not be all smooth sailing once you become a Christian but that the suffering of this world is designed so that we “may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.” These verses correlate with Psalm 46: 1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”
To reflect, the challenge we all face is to grasp this living hope and ensure that we constantly say “Thank You” every time we come before the Lord in prayer.