Take a moment now and read 1 Peter 1:13-21, just to save me space in this little essay. In verse 13 Peter says to set your hope. We have this nifty little definition we often use—hope is confident expectation. I think we miss the emphasis on confidence. It isn’t that we hope, maybe, if possible, perhaps, we will be saved—it is that we have every confidence that we will. At least in the King James Version that Greek word is translated “trust” more times than it is “hope.”
And notice on what we are to set our hope, our trust—not ourselves, not our own righteousness, not the great and wonderful things we have done for the Lord. If that were the case, our hope would be hope-less. We set it on the grace of God. Now do you see where the confidence comes in? Because I have trust in the grace of God I can more easily overcome sin. I know it is not a “hopeless” cause.
Now look at verses 15-17—and this one I want to write down for you. We often miss the point because of the parenthetical statement Peter includes. I am going to skip that phrase so you will see what he is getting at. But as he who called you is holy, be also yourselves holy in all manner of living, because it is written, “You shall be holy because I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father…pass the time of your sojourning in fear.”
Do you start your prayers, “Our Father?” Remember who that Father is, a Holy Father. I loved my parents as much as any child ever could, but sometimes it was remembering those parents that made me behave myself. I had a very real fear—not simply respect—of their reactions if I didn’t. When you go out in the world and temptation suddenly strikes, remember who your Father is, a holy one, who expects the same from you. When you dare to call on him as Father, let that remind you to behave yourself.
Then in verses 18 and 19 Peter reminds us of the price that was paid for us. When someone gives me an expensive gift, I take far better care of it than some little token picked up at the Dollar Store, don’t you? The price paid for our souls was the blood of Christ. Do you think so little of it that you would throw it away like so much rubbish? Are you that ungrateful? I doubt it. But sometimes we need to be reminded of things we already know. In moments of trial, it is far too easy to forget.
Set your hope, your trust, on the grace of God, not yourself. Remember who your Father is. Remember the price that was paid for your soul. I hope these help you get through the day, and perhaps a few more to come.
For the love of Christ constrains us because we thus judge that one died for all, therefore all died, and he died for all that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again, 2 Cor 5:14,15.