“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, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade -- kept in heaven for you, 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. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith -- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire -- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 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, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.,” [1 Peter 1:3-9]
Goal. Aim. Purpose. End result. Fulfillment. All for which we have been striving. Eternity. Satisfaction. Perfection. Life. Peace. Joy. Gratitude. Awe. Surpassing knowledge. Love. Salvation. Jesus.
Our faith has a goal. We do not simply believe so that we can make it through another day, as though our faith were some kind of crutch or shallow philosophy to help us deal with life situations that are beyond our control. No, we have a goal. And our goal is certain. It is attainable. It is real. Though we have never seen Jesus face to face, we believe in Him –and that belief, when full and real, will fill us with an inexpressible and glorious joy because there is a goal to our faith –the salvation of our souls. Our faith is real. Our faith is more valuable than gold. Our faith is being refined by fire and being proved genuine. And the result will be praise, glory and honor when Jesus is revealed: Praise of Jesus and God the Father because we will finally see them as they are and will be filled with awe and an inescapable attraction to them. We will feel and know at that moment why we were created. All doubt, all shadow and every nuance of death will be gone –because death and life cannot coexist in the realm of inexpressible LIFE. We will be all that we were intended to become. As the intended purpose of the creation of a wrench is to fit around a bolt so that it can be turned, our own intended purpose, the goal of our faith, will have been achieved. We will have salvation –the COMPLETE salvation that the Bible speaks of: We will finally be complete physically, spiritually and emotionally. Our minds, hearts and breath of life will be so fully alive through the power of resurrection. We will be indestructible. We will be material, supernatural and eternal. We will be made like Jesus: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure,” [1 John 3:2-3]. Do you continuously remind yourself of this hope? This is important. It changes your entire outlook on life. It determines whether you live in eternal life or focus on shadows of death every day. This is our hope, and we can’t think about it enough: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” [Hebrews 11:1].
Our hope is living. Our hope is not the feeling of “wouldn’t it be nice if it all really worked out that way?” Our hope is a LIVING HOPE. It is alive. It is growing and reaching maturity. The resurrection has certified the fact that there is a goal to be reached. In Hebrews 11:1, we read that faith is “being sure” of what we hope for.” The words “being sure” are translated as “substance” in the King James Version of the Bible. The word that we translate as “being sure” is hypostasis. This word literally means “to place under.” The meaning is to “make something foundational,” to “understand that something has actual existence,” to be “confident or resolute because of a foundational truth and fact.” I have sometimes heard skeptics say, “The Bible is not a book of science…” How foolish! Who created the universe? Whose Word is true, no matter what realm of life or existence we discuss? Who created science and enabled man to pursue it? Our faith is not some temporal or transient philosophy. It has a very real conclusion. The word translated as “certain” in Hebrews 11:1 means “an evidence, a proof or a certainty.” We are certain of what we have not yet received. Why? because of the One who made the promise! “And now these three remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love,” [1 Corinthians 13:13].
Until that glorious Day when Jesus is revealed and we experience all that we have hoped for and all that we have believed and known to be true, we must love one another and love God with all that we are. We have this triad, this “trinity” of faith, hope and love until that time when both faith and hope are no longer needed. Faith will be fulfilled and hope will be realized, but love endures forever. Love isn’t always easy, but it is always right. Love does not mean empowering evil but rather defeating it. It was God’s love for us that found a solution to our dilemma. God loved us first, even when we were still sinners. And our love for others must be equally powerful: We must love sinners even before they behave like children of God, even when they behave like the enemy! We do not love evil behavior, neither should we ignore it or hide from it or fail to deal with it. But in all things, remember love. Remember the attitude that Jesus had the entire time He was here on earth. Remember the love of God in all of life’s circumstances. Resist murdering anyone (if you have killed them in your heart, then you have killed them nonetheless). Look beyond self to the needs of others. Love across boundaries, over walls and despite threats. Love the way God does, because love is perfect FOR EVERY SITUATION IN LIFE. On that note, let me leave you with one final thought from the Word:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him,” [1 John 4:7-17]
Love in Jesus,