“Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:5-7 [NASB]
The wickedness of this world can be wearisome and daunting. So often my heart aches and I am anguished in spirit as I helplessly watch the righteous man suffer, the scheming man prosper and wickedness prevailing. As time and trials press on, I am increasingly grateful for the promises of scripture that give hope in the midst of every seemingly hopeless situation.
Over the past year I’ve read 1 Peter and 2 Peter countless times. I would probably have naturally been drawn to them in my grief because of the wealth of hope they contain, but they also have a special sweetness for me personally because they were the last passages Sarah was meditating on and journaled about finding both comfort and challenge in.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober [in spirit,] fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13 [NASB]
As I was spending time in 1 Peter once again recently I noticed a phrasing I had previously failed to appreciate. The latter part of 1 Peter 1:13, “fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Completely, not some, not partially, not mostly, but completely. Translations vary slightly, but most render it either “fully” or “completely.” The Greek is τελείως, which Strong’s renders as “completely, i.e. (of hope) without wavering:—to the end,” and Thayer’s renders as “perfectly, completely.”
So, I am to fix my hope perfectly, completely, fully, without wavering on this grace I do not fully possess yet. The grace that will be brought to me at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I am so very thankful for this timely reminder, this wonderful word of encouragement. We all need hope, but when you are broken and wounded you recognize your desperation for it.
Worldly thought and personal desires may tempt us to fix our hope at least partially on a variety of temporal goals such as healing, justice, vindication, restoration of broken relationships, etc. Though these are good things to desire, 1 Peter 1:13 makes it exceedingly clear there is only one thing on which we can and should fix our hope – “the grace to be brought to [us] at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
This hope is the confident anticipation of the culmination of all the promises to be delivered at the coming of Christ. Promised blessings granted by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-9). The context of the passage in 1 Peter 1 clarifies the most prominent blessings of this grace to be brought, life beyond death (vs. 3), an imperishable inheritance reserved for us in heaven (vs. 4), and the salvation of our souls (vs. 5).
Life Beyond Death (verse 3)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3 [NASB]
By God’s grace through Christ Jesus I have the hope of Life beyond death. Christ’s atonement and resurrection broke the chains of sin and death. No longer eternally separated from our Holy God by sin, through the precious blood of Jesus we look forward to intimately dwelling with Him for eternity. And not only Him, through His abundant grace we have the blessed hope of dwelling eternally with all of our brothers and sisters (and children) in Christ, never to be separated by death or impacted by sin again.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given [them] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 [NASB]
An Imperishable Inheritance in Heaven (verse 4)
“to [obtain] an inheritance [which is] imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 1:4 [NASB]
As we plod along in a fallen world filled with injustice we must remember our inheritance or reward is not here. Our inheritance is in heaven. Certainly God graciously provides for us here, and we may enjoy many good gifts from above, but everything here will perish and fade away. Regardless of our circumstances on earth, good or bad, Christ followers have a certain hope of an inheritance reserved for us in heaven by God. If it is reserved “for us” then we, too, are going there. A wonderful reminder that we are but sojourners passing through, this world is not our home, we have a glorious eternal destination yet before us.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 [NASB]
The Salvation of Our Souls (verse 5)
“[for you] who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5 [NASB]
His grace is so rich and abundant that not only did He through Christ provide salvation, but through faith He will protect our souls and complete the work of salvation in us by His power (Phil 1:6). Through faith in Him, the God of the universe will continually sustain, equip and empower us to persevere by His incomprehensibly infinite power. He Himself is protecting us by His power to finally and completely receive the grace of salvation to be revealed at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!
“and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 [NASB]
Hope for Suffering (verse 6-7)
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, [being] more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1 Peter 1:6-7 [NASB]
It is this hope alone that enables us even in the midst of suffering to “greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). If I am obedient to fix my hope “completely on the grace to be brought to [me] at the revelation of Jesus Christ” then absolutely none of my hope can be fixed on temporal outcomes such as healing, justice, vindication, restoration of broken relationships, or any number of other options. Though I long for such outcomes and will prayerfully work toward them where appropriate, I find great encouragement in knowing that hope properly fixed can not and will not be disappointed, diminished or lost in their temporal absence.
In this fallen world the righteous will continue to suffer, lying and scheming men will continue to prosper, and wickedness will continue to prevail. But our hope fixed on eternity and held by the sovereign God of the universe gloriously transcends the fallenness of this world. Hold onto faith fellow wounded sojourner. As we cry out to Him, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief,” by His infinite power He will strengthen us to stand and persevere. He will powerfully enable us to “greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” as we praise Him for this hope “we have as an anchor of the soul, a [hope] both sure and steadfast” (Heb. 6:19).
“[I pray that] the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. [These are] in accordance with the working of the strength of His might” Ephesians 1:18-19 [NASB]
Artwork: Sarah Harmening
I’ve shared this song before, but it’s a favorite so I’m sharing again. ❤