fresh bread: rejoice in this hope

“May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. Through his faithfulness, you are guarded by God’s power so that you can receive the salvation he is ready to reveal in the last time. You now rejoice in this hope, even if it’s necessary for you to be distressed for a short time by various trials.” (1 Peter 1:3-6 CEB)

As Christians, we have been born all over again. We have been born all over again into a hope that is truly alive. We have the perfect, ongoing inheritance for us reserved by God himself. Absolutely nothing or no one can harm or hinder that inheritance. God Almighty himself is our bodyguard.

Now I ask you, “Does it get any better than this, this side of eternity?” Not hardly. And so, if we truly grasp this what do you suppose our response should be given that we are born of God, heirs of God, and shielded by God?

“You now rejoice in this hope …”

Rejoice. This is the single, most appropriate word that comes to Peter’s mind to describe what the overall Christian experience in attitude and spirit is like.

And here’s the kicker: this should be true “even if it’s necessary for you to be distressed for a short time by various trials.” Peter was writing to Christians who were going through persecution and who would only live to see it intensify.

Joy is the true north of our compass. God’s presence is our God-given promise of inheritance. Come hell or high water – particularly because we believe – these things should never be diminished in our mind and should ever be obvious in the expression of our lives.

Father in heaven, you have adopted me as your own, shield me now as your beloved, and promise me things beyond my ability to imagine. Each day of my life, no matter what life brings me, may I give you joy with my joy over you. In the name of Christ my Savior and Lord, I pray. Amen.

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