Thickening the Cords of Hope

You call him Father, when you pray to God, who judges all people by the same standard, according to what each one has done; so then, spend the rest of your lives here on earth in reverence for him. 18 For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; 19 it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. 20 He had been chosen by God before the creation of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God. – 1 Peter 1:17-21

 

Perhaps you’ve had the same experience as I. Yesterday I was grumpy, easily angered and without any real provocation snapped at Diane. Later that afternoon she brought me a small glass of wine as a peace offering. I gladly accepted it. I suppose I should have brought the peace offering to her. But these days make patience grow thin. These days wear you down. These days can become boring, tedious, and exhausting.

Sometimes the culmination of boredom, exhaustion, impatience, and the grueling slog toward a hoped-for new day conspire to lose hope. Add to all that an absence of the real presence of brothers and sisters in Christ, the loss of in-the-flesh fellowship. Not only does our patience wear thin, so does our hope. So does our faith.

Then we are reminded: you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; 19 it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. That offers two correctives to a thin-worn faith and hope. 

First let’s remember the price that was paid to set us free. We have been redeemed. We have been rescued. We have been ransomed. We have been saved by God. All this was a great cost. God determined the value each of us has, and determined that he would offer himself as our ransom. He who was chosen for this task long before our time has sacrificed himself. We have a great value to God. We are of amazing worth in his eyes. And his eyes are what really matter.

Second, let’s remember, too, the hope and the promise of the resurrection of Jesus: Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God. Our faith is not in a concept. Our faith is not a feeling. Our faith is not tied to circumstance. Our faith is not fixed on this life. Jesus’ resurrection points us to a glorious eternal tomorrow.

By the power and promise of Jesus’ resurrection, we have more joy and glory in store for us than even the best relief scenario we could ever imagine. That thickens the cord of hope to which we can anchor our souls. 

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