Are you at all like me? There are times that the situations of life begin to dominate my mind, often it results in me losing sight of my future. Okay, so what is my future? Our future? Your future? Well, if you are in Christ, there is a lot to say about your future, more about that in a moment. Without question, the last year or so has been difficult for so many with the pandemic, job issues, health issues, family issues and the list goes on. Inflation is being projected, gas prices going up, let alone that our society is changing at such a rapid pace. The drumbeat of life’s adversities can consume the mind, robbing us of hope, peace, and anticipation. What anticipation you ask? It is that which I desire to share with you this day. In the face of all we encounter, it would benefit us to always anticipate what awaits us as believers. If you have been following my meditation for the last few days, you know where I am going.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… (1st Peter 1:3)
Peter says that God is “blessed” or as the ETRV translates it, “praise.” Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Habakkuk 3:17-18, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls– Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” When was the last time you genuinely praised God? Especially when faced with adversity. That is the setting in which Peter shares these thoughts. There will be times when believers will face “various trials that the genuineness of your faith…may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1st Peter 1:6-7). It would seem the point here by Peter is to not lose sight of the prize. Through the giving of His Son and our faith in His sacrifice and resurrection, we have been given “a living hope.” Hope here means expectation, trust, confidence. In what? Let’s continue.
…to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1st Peter 1:4-5)
Okay, so let’s talk about anticipation. I am going to show my age, but I can remember the Heinz ketchup ad from 1970’s. The ad closes with someone saying, “Sorry you had to wait.” The response was, “I’m not.” People don’t like waiting for anything it would seem. But when you understand what you are waiting for, it makes it easier. I like the ETRV translation, “Now we wait to receive the blessings God has for his children.” Peter wants his readers to look forward with anticipation of what is down the road. And what is down the road is worth waiting! As heirs (Romans 8:17; Ephesians 1:14) we have an inheritance that awaits us all who are in Christ. Jesus told His disciples just prior to His death that “In My Father’s house are many mansions” and that He must go to “prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-4). Those early Christians who faced such incredible adversity, were convinced that they had “a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven” (Hebrews 10:32-36). Something that Peter says is “incorruptible…undefiled and does not fade away.” Their hope was not only in His redemptive work for sinful man now, but also in what awaits them later.
It is true, life can be overwhelming and frustrating at times. You can feel like throwing your hands up in the air and say, “What is the sense of all this?” When seemingly trapped in the cycle we call life, it can be difficult to see beyond the now. That is why we would benefit from a little faith driven anticipation. See with our faith what God says to be true and that awaits us. Realize that this is all temporary and the real eternity is just around the corner. May God strengthen us to keep our eyes on the prize.