Summary: Never doubt dear Christian that you are being kept by a Father who loves you. This world may assail and assault you but you can still stand as God keeps you shielded from the very worst of it.
Hope for Heaven and Earth
As we begin Advent and look to the Hope that is ours, we must look to the words of St. Peter in 1 Peter Chapter 1.
There is far more in this chapter to speak of than time affords me this morning so we will just look at the Hope held out to us and how even Angels in Heaven long to look into this wonderful truth.
Firstly all praise goes to the Father from whom all things come including this wonderful Hope that is ours. Jesus is the agent of this hope made real for us by His resurrection from the grave. That resurrection has given us a new birth that was unattainable until Jesus made a way for us. It is for us a living Hope one that made us alive by the new birth but also one that sustains us even now and carries us to its fullness when we step into eternal life with our Lord Jesus.
St. Peter describes what waits for us as an inheritance. An inheritance is something we receive when one of our family members bequeaths something that was once theirs to us as a result of their dying. Jesus passes onto us this eternal life which is our living hope. This Hope is alive always, it can never perish, spoil or fade. No wonder such wondrous hope as this draws even the curiosity and interest of the Angels in Heaven. It is not that this hope is inexplicable but rather that it is so miraculous as it rests entirely in Jesus Christ.
This inheritance is not for us to possess at this time but it is being kept for us by our Heavenly Father in Heaven. It is He who protects us and shields us in this present day until the day comes when Jesus returns at His Second Advent and His salvation is revealed in its fullness at His coming.
There was once a Scotsman who understood this fully and who being economical with his money wanted to save some expense on his head stone. He had the monument carved with a single word – KEPT -. In that one word he realized that it was His Heavenly Father who was keeping him shielded and protected while on earth and it was a heavenly inheritance from the Son of God that was being kept for him in Heaven. Source: J. Vernon McGee pg. 680 Vol. V. Thru the Bible 1983 Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville Tennessee.
Never doubt dear Christian that you are being kept by a Father who loves you. This world may assail and assault you but you can still stand as God keeps you shielded from the very worst of it.
The troubles and difficulties we now experience are just the flame of the furnace that purifies us like gold. There are things within us that only trouble and difficulty can remove from us. Once they are removed what is pure and genuine is revealed and we praise God for having refined us so that we can more fully rejoice in the salvation that is ours through Jesus Christ as He is revealed in these Last Days.
The hope that is ours is Jesus Christ. Our faith in Him grows because we love Him even though we cannot see Him we still believe in Him “and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” 1 Peter 1:8
I think it is this inexpressible joy that overcomes so many of us at this time of year as we celebrate Advent.
Many of us seem to carry a song in our hearts and thanksgiving in our attitude. We dress our homes with lights and symbols of the joy that is ours in an effort to tell the world about Jesus. My wife put up the tree yesterday and tonight we will gather around our Sharing Tree at church to remember all those with whom God has blessed us with and how they too are a part of that eternal inheritance. The family of God. It is glorious to know that death cannot separate us and that eternity binds us through the Hope that is our Saviour Jesus Christ.
St. Peter tells us that we are at this time receiving the end result of our faith - that is the salvation of our souls.
It is this End Result that even the Prophets of old were looking to for us. They knew then that Messiah would bring salvation of the soul.
It was the Holy Spirit of God speaking to them in times past revealing to them all that has transpired to this day and still even more that is to come concerning Jesus.
What they spoke about was intended to build us up in our Hope and faith so that we might believe what we now possess – our Hope in a Savior!