(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
So, what we're going to do next is going to take a little bit of explanation. I want to start by reading verses 3 through 9 of 1 Peter, and then make my explanation.
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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you (greatly) rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Well, I'll stop there. Verses 3 through 9 are a plot summary of the redemptive story. I'm going to have to say more about that. But before I look at that, I want to pull out three fundamental concepts out of this passage, look at them first; then we're going to look at the plot summary.
The concepts are hope, safety, and faith. I would ask you, “If you had a piece of paper, or you're typing into your phone or whatever, and I asked the question, ‘What is hope?’ What would you write?” In verse 3, he says, “We've been born again into a living hope.” What does that mean? Well, you've been hardwired for hope. That means every day, in some way, you are hooking your hope to something, whether it's your marriage, or your job, or your finances, or your children, or yourself, or your faith. Here's what hope is, hope is a desire, plus an object, plus an expectation.
I want to be successful. So, I put that hope on my boss, with the expectation that he'll be good to me and advance me and my career, that's how hope operates. And what Peter wants us to know is that we have a living hope, we have a hope that's very different than the horizontal hope so many of the things that we hope in horizontally end up failing us in some way. This is a hope that's alive, this is a hope that's active, this is a hope that's productive because it's not the result of your effort, your wisdom, your control, your righteousness. It is the result of God's mercy, you have hope, hear what I’m about say, because God exists, and He's your Father by grace. I’ll say that again, you have hope because you exist, because God exists, and He's your Father by faith. It's sort of like a street child who has no hope at all that's adopted into a family, and he now has hope because he has a new father who will care for him.
What is that mercy? God has unleashed His almighty power for the good of His children! Scripture tells us that hope in God will never ever fail us. That hope is written, rooted in His presence, His power, His grace. And you can have the expectation that God will do everything He has promised you; He will not fail in any of His promises.
That hope should propel you in your marriage. What should give you hope in your marriage? Not your husband or your wife, but your Savior. What should give you hope in parenting? Not your husband or your wife, but your Savior. What should give you hope in your struggle against sin? Not your wisdom or your righteousness, but your Savior. You have reason for hope because God exists; and by mercy, He has made you His children!