As we walk through this Advent season together, we have considered 3 topics so far:
– Hope, as expressed by the ancient prophets
– Love, expressed in Christ’s incarnation, His entering His creation
– Joy, Christ in us
So how do these three topics tie together?
Not in a “what”, but in a “Whom”.
The Apostle Peter summarizes this well:
3 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, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 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. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.(1 Peter 1:3-9, English Standard Version)
Peter reminds us that our hope is not a “long shot” or a “slight chance”, like we might say “I hope it won’t rain today, because I am not bringing my coat.” There is little risk or consequences if this hope goes unfulfilled.
Rather, our hope as followers of Christ is a strong confidence, a solid assurance that Jesus is who He says He is, and that He will do what He promised to do.
And why is this so? Because, as Peter says, this promise of salvation, of being born again, this hope is a living hope because Jesus has resurrected from the dead. If Jesus has conquered death, He is all-powerful and has both the ability and the desire to offer us the same.
Like the recipients of Peter’s letter, we have not seen Jesus face-to-face like Peter did. But, as followers of Christ, we love Jesus and put our hope and faith in Him for today as well as eternity.
And when we put our faith in Jesus for this life as well as the next, He fills us with joy that words cannot express.
May you experience the joy of your salvation today, as you walk along life’s path with Jesus.
Speechless and full of joy,