Hope for a New Year

January 3 / Andrew Arndt

Hope for a New Year

January 3, 2021

What is it that gives us hope for the future?

1 Peter 1:1-9
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 3 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, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Three Affirmations

1. The difficulty was good for you

1 Peter 1:6-7
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith— of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

2. You have been (and are!) shielded by God’s power

1 Peter 1:5
5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

3. Your hope is personal

1 Peter 1:3
3 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…

  • Christian hope does not hang on an outcome
  • Christian hope hangs on a Person
  • Christian hope IS a Person—Jesus, the Lord
  • Pessimist’s trap – making negative circumstances the final word
  • Optimist’s trap – living in denial of the circumstances
  • “I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist; Jesus Christ is raised from the dead.” – Lesslie Newbigin
  • “Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age…” – Matthew 28:20
  • Knowing that Jesus IS our hope allows us to do something extraordinary: it allows us to stare life’s most grim realities in the face without losing heart

Lamentations 3:19-24
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Isaiah 40:30-31
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in (wait upon) the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Romans 15:13
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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