Where Hope Begins
According to [God’s] great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3–5)
What words do you associate with your salvation?
Christians usually associate salvation from God’s judgment with the word faith. After all, the Bible says you can never earn salvation through good works: salvation is received by faith alone. The Lord Jesus has done the work. He lived righteously. He died in the place of sinners on the cross. He rose from the dead. Jesus calls people to stop trusting their own righteousness and to put their faith in him alone. That is what it means to be a Christian.
But hope is also a wonderful salvation word.
People usually use the word hope to mean an optimistic or positive wish for the future. Sometimes the biblical writers use hope in this way, like when Paul says to Timothy, “I hope to come to you soon” (1 Tim. 3:14). In that situation, Paul didn’t know what God had planned and wished for a speedy visit to his friend.
For a non-Christian, wishful hope is the best they can have. A Christian has a far more powerful hope, however: the hope that comes through salvation. Because Jesus rose from the dead, your trust in him is not in vain. He proved the reality of the world to come. When he brings you to heaven, your hopes will be filled with substance. You may never receive an earthly inheritance, but you will receive a heavenly inheritance in glory. It will never perish, become defiled, or fade away. You will never get such assurances from earthly treasures. You can be confident about your heavenly inheritance because God is personally guarding it until you receive it.
Although you deserve God’s punishment because of your sinful attitudes and actions, God has given you mercy—great mercy, in fact. In that great mercy he has caused you to be born again, to come to life spiritually. As your spiritual eyes open, you begin to see through lenses of hope—dynamic living hope. When God changes you from a rebellious creature into an adopted son, you can have confidence, even certainty, that God will accomplish good plans in your life. You can have confident expectations of the future, the very meaning of hope.
Because of your salvation, you have a solid foundation for hope.
—John Crotts, Hope: Living Confidently in God (releasing 7/21/21)