Friday, October 28, 2016

A Living Hope

Note from Jesus

Dear Faithful One,

Life is full of challenges when you are bound to the realities of mortality. I know, not just because I AM God, but also because I faced these realities in My physical body. I also know that many of My disciples have endured persecution and even faced martyrdom.

As Peter addresses disciples facing imminent persecution and possible martyrdom, he doesn’t begin with kind words of encouragement. Rather, he starts his letter with an outburst of praise to the Father. He is overwhelmed with joy because of “a living hope” and “an eternal inheritance… that will never fade or fail.”

Like the early disciples to whom Peter was writing, you did not witness My earthly life and ministry. As I promised Thomas, those who have not seen Me and yet still believe are blessed (John 20:29)! As Peter said, you are blessed because “you do believe in Him [Me] and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.”

While you look back in faith on what I did, know that angels — the “heavenly messengers” — stood on tiptoe in anticipation of My coming (1 Peter 1:12). They knew their waiting and wondering about Me were to serve you and your fellow disciples, the very people on whom the end of ages has come.

In times of trial and persecution, genuine encouragement always begins with Me and involves praise for what the Father has done through Me. Hope is built on faith in Me and on praise of My resurrection and glorification and the glory that you will share with Me! Platitudes and slogans will not sustain people through the storms of persecution and martyrdom; praise rooted in the things I have done for you and promised to you will sustain you!

Verses to Live

As you read these words of praise immediately following the opening salutation in the letter you call 1 Peter, I encourage you to read these words several times. Instead of being intimidated by your times, your enemies, or the threats against you, focus on the assurance of your hope — I have conquered what you face, and I will share My “praise, honor, and glory” when I AM “revealed at last”!

Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Because He has raised Jesus the Anointed from death, through His great mercy we have been reborn into a living hope — reborn for an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail. Through faith, God’s power is standing watch, protecting you for a salvation that you will see completely at the end of things. You should greatly rejoice in what is waiting for you, even if now for a little while you have to suffer various trials. Suffering tests your faith which is more valuable than gold (remember that gold, although it is perishable, is tested by fire) so that if it is found genuine, you can receive praise, honor, and glory when Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, is revealed at last.

Although you haven’t seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don’t yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.

The prophets who spoke of this outpouring of grace upon you diligently searched and inquired of the Lord about this salvation: to whom and to what time was the indwelling Spirit of the Anointed referring when He told them about the suffering of the Anointed and the honor that would follow it? The Spirit revealed to them they were not serving themselves but you. And you have learned from those who told you the good news by the Spirit that was sent down from heaven. Even the heavenly messengers would like to explore this news.

(1 Peter 1:3-12)

Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for my living hope, Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. Thank You for His victory over sin, death, and hell. Thank You for the character and compassion that He demonstrated while on earth. Thank You for the assurance of my victory over sin, death, and hell because I am united with Him. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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