Shining Lights of Hope

“… but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…” 1 Peter 3:15

In the coming months, as we continue through our reading plan,  we will explore the writings and thoughts of the apostles – Peter, Paul, and John.

Paul is often called the apostle of faith – we study his profound teaching on the doctrine of justification by faith.

John is often called the apostle of love – his message of love is demonstrated throughout his writings.

Peter is often called the apostle of hope – hope is the answer to persecution and difficulty.

Faith, hope, and love – major themes of the Bible.

As we conclude our thoughts on Peter this week I thought it only fitting to write about hope.

1&2 Peter were written in a time of great persecution for the Christians. Nero was Emperor, Rome was on fire, and Nero was persecuting and torturing Christians.

Peter was writing during this troublesome time, during which whole families were tortured and murdered for sport.

Peter stresses hope as the answer to this time of persecution and difficulty.

Although we live in a world with little physical persecution here in the United States, we are surrounded by spiritual warfare, gang warfare, political warfare and civil unrest to name a few.

At times, and during seasons of our lives, we may feel the darkness, stress and anxiety that comes from living in this world.

Here in the Antelope Valley – the high desert area of Southern California, the sunsets and sunrises can be spectacular.

On a clear night, we can see a vast array of stars shining brightly in the darkness. Each day we know with nightfall, the darkness will come, but the stars will shine bright.

At times, and during seasons of our lives, we may feel the darkness, the anxiety of death – something we will all face, the turmoil throughout the world, wondering if it’ll ever reach us.

Yet during these times, when experiencing loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of hope in the things around us, the Apostle Peter reminds us – our hope is a “living hope” a spiritual, an everlasting hope, not a human hope.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” 1 Peter 1:3 NASB

Our hope is in Jesus and the things to come, not in the things of this world.

Peter goes on to teach us in 1 Peter 3:15:

“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…” 1 Peter 3:15 NASB

Others will ask us why we are hopeful amidst the chaos.

It is during these dark times that we are reminded to let our hope shine brightly in the darkness.

Until next time… keep reading!

Jim

Sources used for this blog: Courson’s Application Commentary – New Testament

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