“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” (1 Peter 1:3).
Hearing the words “life” and “death” cause us to pause and take notice. Occasionally someone needs our help and calls it a “life or death matter.” By that they communicate the need for urgent help. The Bible also frequently uses these terms, with equal urgency:
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).
By “life” the Bible refers to an awakened soul to God. God imparts the life when we turn to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation (John 6:47). Moreover, this life speaks hope to our souls, as Peter reminds us in the verse above. We were born again to a living hope, one that bids our hopelessness goodbye. Once in Christ, we live in the sphere of hope, and hope that does not fade away. Such hope kindles a joy in our hearts, reminding us of the good things to come.
Jesus was not unaware of the tribulations of life:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The world, in order to have the world’s version of peace, needs the problems to first get resolved. Once resolved, then, and only then, can they enjoy some sort of peace. God’s peace, on the other hand, continues during our times of hardships. The peace that Christ brings forms the abundant life that we presently live. It reminds us of future blessings at the resurrection, when our bodies will be raised like Christ’s own body (Philippians 3:21). How will God do this? By the very power that raised Jesus from the dead.
We need never despair when faced with the trials of life. We may wince and groan a bit, but we must recall these great and precious promises of life in Christ Jesus. Throughout life, the Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome the world (1 John 5:4) and live for God. In fact, the Bible connects this indwelling Spirit to the resurrection:
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).
Posted on Tue, April 18, 2017
by Diane Hultgren