Summary: The first of a five part series from 1 Peter that deals with how to find hope for our lives.
We live in a world that desperately needs some hope:
• Hurricanes and earthquakes
• Threat of terrorist attacks
• Rising energy prices that threaten our economy and our own personal finances
• Increasing crime
• Bird flu pandemic
In a world like that people look for hope in all kinds of places:
• Powerball jackpot
• Other people
• Horoscopes and other occult practices
• Two guys that went hunting and got lost
• Little league baseball player
In the first century, there was a rugged, strong-willed, passionate fisherman who needed some hope in his life. He was constantly sticking his foot in his mouth, acting before thinking and making promises that he couldn’t keep. But Peter not only found hope for his own life, he also became the apostle of hope and he wrote a letter that we still have today to give us hope in a world that surely needs some. For the next 5 weeks or so, we’re going to be taking a look at several parts of that letter to see if we can’t learn how to find hope for our lives.
We’ll be looking at how to have hope…
• When I’m tempted
• For my home
• When life’s unfair
• When all hope seems to be lost
We need to define hope:
“wishful thinking” – I hope the Cubs win the World Series
Strong’s – “anticipate with pleasure”
Vine’s – “favorable and confident expectation of good”
We first need to build a good foundation for our hope.
Illustration: Building a house
Read 1 Peter 1:1-9
HOW TO BUILD A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR MY HOPE
1. Rejoice in God’s will
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 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…
1 Peter 1:1-3 (NIV)
As Peter begins to describe this living hope that God has given to each one of us, he makes it so clear that the hope we have is entirely a product of God’s plan, his will, for our lives. We are His elect; He has chosen us; He has given us the new birth into a living hope. There is not even a hint here that we have done anything to deserve this living hope. God has chosen to give it to us simply because it is His choice, His will, for our lives.
Paul describes this principle in a very similar way.
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 (NIV)
We have been:
• Chosen by the Father
o As far as the Father is concerned, I was saved when He chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world.
• Purchased by the Son
o As far as the Son is concerned, I was saved when He died for me on the cross.
• Set apart by the Spirit
o As far as the Spirit is concerned, I was saved when I heard the Gospel, was convicted of my sin and accepted Jesus Christ into my life a Lord and Savior.
When we recognize just what God has done for us, when we consider His perfect plan for our lives where he not only has chosen us, but also provided the means for us to have an intimate, personal relationship with Him, how can we respond with anything but rejoicing?
In this you greatly rejoice…
1 Peter 1:6 (NIV)
As we sang about this morning, God has made a great change in me – a change that lays the first building blocks for a strong foundation of hope in my life. And I need to rejoice in that. And that leads directly to the second building block for my foundation of hope:
2. Rely on God’s work
Read vv. 3-9 again – focus on:
…through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… (v. 3)
Peter makes it clear that my hope rests totally and completely on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That is the work that God has already completed on my behalf.