The Story Ends in Glory
Day: 11 | Plan: Already but Not Yet
Today's Reading: 1 Peter 1:1-12
1 Peter 1:3 (ESV) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..."
I hate suspense. When I face uncertainty, stress, suffering or heartache, I long for a sneak peek at the end of the story. I wish I could flip to the last page like when I get to the cliffhanger in a novel. But in real life, we must walk through hard times without knowing when or if resolution will come.
First Peter was written to encourage scattered Christians in the middle of a story of suffering. (1 Peter 1:1; 4:12-13) As we read Peter's words to these first-century believers, we see that God's gift of a living hope in Jesus changes everything about our story. Jesus' resurrection solidifies our hope, sustains us through suffering and secures our glorious future.
Because of our living hope, we know resurrection defines our story.
Peter starts by reminding us that our living hope is based on God's mercy. God has "caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:3). Because God united us to Christ by faith, our story ends like His — with resurrection from the dead and eternal life with the Father. (Romans 6:5; Ephesians 2:5-6) This living hope is as rock-solid as the stone that sat outside Jesus' empty grave.
Our living hope also secures for us an eternal inheritance that can never be diminished, lost or stolen. (1 Peter 1:4-5; 5:4) The gift of the Holy Spirit guarantees that God is keeping this inheritance for us until we receive it in heaven. (Ephesians 1:13-14) We live each day in light of the promised resurrection and glory we have in Christ.
Because of our living hope, we rejoice even in the difficult moments of our story.
Peter encourages us to endure suffering with this glorious inheritance in mind. (1 Peter 1:6-7) Our anticipation of future glory completely changes our present story. We are grieved by suffering now, but we look ahead through tear-filled eyes to future joy. (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 5:10) As we wait for glory, the One who has secured our salvation will use our trials to refine and strengthen our faith for the praise of His name. (Romans 5:3-4; James 1:2-4)
Because of our living hope, we await the glorious end of our story.
If we could turn to the last page of our story, we'd be amazed by the dazzling beauty of its ending. Today our faith is in what we do not see, (Hebrews 11:1) and yet our salvation is so glorious that even "angels long to look" into the grace we have received (1 Peter 1:12). One day, our hope will be fully realized when we see Jesus face-to-face. (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2)
Our hope has a name, and His name is Jesus. He brings the truth of His promises to every page of our difficult stories. For those who have this living hope, every story ends in glory.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for your great mercy in causing me to be born again to a living hope. Fill me with Your joy in the midst of hardship and strengthen my dependence on You through the struggles of my story. Help me to remember the glorious inheritance waiting for me because of the gracious gift of Your Son. In Jesus' name, amen.
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