Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 22nd April 2020.
In the last few months, COVID-19 is shaking up lives in an extraordinary way. It’s causing people to question the priorities of life, the certainties of life, and for some, the purpose of life. If you open any news site, everything revolves around this pandemic. Is that all there is to life? What hope do we have?
For many people, they find their hope and security in the tangible things of life. Their job, their family, their relationships, their finances, their routines. Yet, many of these things are showing themselves to be vulnerable to the changing times. These are difficult times.
The apostle Peter offers us a different perspective. We should remember though that he doesn’t write this from a place of privilege. Instead, he writes during a time of persecution and suffering. He writes these words:
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.1 Peter 1:3-4a (NIV)
Do you see that? Even in times of persecution and suffering, he praises God. Why? Because “in his great mercy he has given us new birth.” That’s a second chance at life. A second chance to live a different life—as Peter will say later, we can live a holy life (1 Peter 1:15-16). Don’t let that word ‘holy’ scare you, it means something “set apart, different, unique” or as I like to put it, “out of this world.”
We get more than a second chance at life though, it comes with a living hope. It’s not a dead hope, because God rose Jesus Christ from the dead. Wow! What a contrast to our present age! This hope in Jesus isn’t shaken or vulnerable to the changing times. It’s a living hope, it’s an eternal hope.
But wait there’s more! Not only do we receive a new birth. Not only do we receive a living hope. We receive an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. In some Bible translations, it reads “imperishable, undefiled and unfading.”
One last thing, an inheritance normally implies relationship. The Bible talks about Christians being children of God. It’s why we call one another ‘brothers and sisters’ in Christ. We’re children of God. Let that sink in.
For kids, when life falls apart, where do they go? When the world is crumbling around them, where do they find shelter? When a pandemic fills their world, where is their safe place? For most kids, the safest place in their heart and mind is in the arms of their mummy and daddy.
Right now, what our world needs, what I need , what you need is a safe place. A place of hope. A place of security. A place of assurance.
What better place to be than in the arms of a heavenly Father who gives us “a new birth,” a second chance at life. Who gives us “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Who gives us “an inheritance”—an assurance, a security—”that can never perish, spoil or fade.”
Friend, there is nothing for you to do, it’s all done for you in Jesus. Come into the arms of the Father; rest and find peace in his arms. As the old, traditional spiritual goes, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”
Heavenly Father, we thank you we can come into your presence, into your arms where we can find true comfort, peace and rest in you. We praise you for the new birth, the new life, we receive from you in Jesus. We thank you for Jesus’ death for us, but we praise you for raising him from the dead and securing for us a living hope.
Help us to come to you and rest in your arms. Give us your peace, not as the world gives. Enable us by your Holy Spirit to surrender our anxiety and worry to you. Fill us with the living hope guaranteed by the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In his name we pray, amen.