Joyful hope

1 Peter 1:3-12 – Joyful hope, by Rev. Chris Pretorius.

Now friends I don’t know about you, but I don’t always feel settled. I don’t always feel as if God is in control. I am not always confident that everything is going to be ok, that in the end things would work out for my good. And I definitely don’t find it natural for us to always want to praise God in every situation. What about the times when I feel like I’m in danger? What about when I feel like my family or my children are in danger? What about the times when you have this something you have to do that you have been putting off? Maybe it’s meeting with a per¬son you know is just not going to go well maybe it’s a decision you’re going to have to make, that is stressing you out, that makes you sweat when you think about it?

How easy is it for you to feel that “settled assurance that God is in control” in those situations? How easy is it for you to have that confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright? How easy is it for you to make a determined choice to praise God in those situations?

I think for most of us that is actually quite hard. It’s quite difficult. But friends, I have seen and experienced and known Christians who have this kind of hope. This kind of hope that against all odds, everything is going to be okay. I am not talking about those super Christians you see on TV, who seem to be perfect, but who you know have this odd sense of disingenuousness. I am talking about that 70 year old lady who says despite the terminal illness, “I am ok, I’m ready to go”. I am talking about the woman whose husband ran away with another woman, and who testifies to that the Lord is good to her and she still trusts in him. I am talking about the man who declares that he is filled with joyful hope, when both of his brothers died as children, one in a hunting accident, and one in a motorcycle crash. These heroes of faith – how do you get that sort of settled, joyful hope? Well friends, 1 Peter 1:3-12 teaches us about that kind of hope.