Grapes on the Vine, God's Abundant Provision for His People

A daily devotion for February 26th

A Living Hope

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

1 Peter 1:3

Surely no apostle felt the death of Jesus more agonizingly than Peter. He had boasted that he would not leave him or forsake him, that he would stay true and fight for him even unto death. He meant so well, but he failed so miserably. When the moment came, a little girl's question upset him and melted all his bravado, and he denied his Lord. So to the appalling collapse of hope that all the apostles experienced in the death of Jesus, in Peter's case was added the shame and disgrace of his own denial. It is no wonder that the last view we have of Peter in the Gospels is his going out into the dark of the night, weeping bitterly.

But it is those kinds of moments and that kind of day that the resurrection of Jesus is designed to relieve and to help. Have you ever thought of it that way? We celebrate the great triumph of Christ over the grave, but I think we often forget that this also stands for the presence of Christ with us to meet the pressures of life as they come to us day by day. I am sure Peter had that in mind when he wrote this text, for you recall that after the resurrection of Jesus we are told in the Gospels that he appeared privately to Peter. We have no record of what he said or where it occurred, but evidently the sensitive heart of Jesus understood how Peter felt in the hour of his monumental failure and collapse of faith, and Jesus sought him out, and appeared to him, and doubtless restored him to some sense of personal worth again.

Peter speaks of this as a living hope, and living means it is something that comes to us every day; it is something that is available all the time. Jesus Christ alive from the dead is the answer to all the broken dreams, the collapsed hopes of your life and mine, the pressures that we feel from day to day, the sense of our failure and the inability to perform as we would like to perform. In the New Testament you can see how the early Christians were filled with a constant sense of the presence of Jesus with them. Everywhere they went, they did so with joy and optimism and expectation.

There is no explanation of this strange behavior on the part of the disciples other than the fact that Jesus was risen and he was with them. Nobody could see him but he was there, and he was strengthening them, helping them, and ministering to them. We also have the promise of his companionship and of a greater ability to function in every single hour of life if we know Jesus Christ. Now that is the great good news of Jesus' resurrection to me, that I am not left alone to face the problems of life without help.

Thank you Father for this great truth that Jesus Christ lives. He lives in my heart today, to forgive me, to sustain me, to encourage me and to strengthen me. Thank you for his living life that guides me all the way through life to the end.

Life Application

Praise God for the living Jesus, who is with us every day! How can you thank God for this great gift today?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

A Living Hope

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