Tag Archive | hope

Living Hope

In my Bible reading this morning I began in 1 Peter, Chapter 1 and the first thing that struck me and kept calling me back was Peter’s use of the phrase “…he has given us new birth into a living hope…”
(1 Peter 1:3b NIV, emphasis mine).

Living Hope! Hope that is ALIVE! Hope that is breathing! Hope that is growing! Hope that keeps going! Living Hope!

Before we realized we would not be able to have biological children I told my husband I wanted to name our son Jackson Hope. My husband objected immediately upon the grounds that the name Hope is feminine. My argument is that Hope should be genderless. His was that I wasn’t using the word hope as a verb but as a noun, a noun that would haunt our son forever. In reality my husband is right. (But doesn’t Jackson Hope just sound beautiful?) It became a mute issue eventually but my point remains the same, HOPE, should have no gender, no boundaries, no economic considerations, no religious affiliation, no ethnicity, HOPE should be HOPE.

Now, hope in what is the question.

Peter tells us that, “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—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him: and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:3b-9 NIV)

Our hope is living hope
because Jesus Christ is living. Our hope is living hope because although Jesus offered Himself a sacrifice on the cross at Calvary death could not keep its claim on Him. Jesus Christ defeated death. He rose out of the grave! He set aside the clothes of death, the tears of mourning, the fears of a prophecy unfilled and HE LIVES!

In His living we have hope not only in this life but that beyond this life is eternity in Heaven where we will live with Jesus forever. Regardless how dark our circumstances of this world are we have hope that the world cannot extinguish unless we let it. But even then, it is a hope that can be flamed back into life with the gentlest of breath. Yet it is not hope for or of the things of this world. It is hope that by faith and belief in Jesus we have more than this world to have hope in. We have ETERNITY in HEAVEN in THE PRESENCE OF THE LIVING GOD!

I love this type of hope and I will pray that every reader today or any tomorrow know that hope too. If not, I will point you the following verses in the Holy Scriptures:

  • Romans 1:20-21
  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 5:8
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 10:9-10
  • Romans 10:13
  • Romans 11:36
  • Acts 2:38

Living hope,


Spring has Sprung

One thing we say here in Alabama is that if you’re unhappy with the weather hang around for five minutes and it will change. Our blizzard of 1993 happened towards the end of March when we’re accustomed to the signs of spring coming alive, not 2-3 feet of snow. (Yes, 2-3 feet of snow in the Deep South qualifies as a blizzard.) This spring has been a bit more cold than usual. Freeze warnings and cold, damp days were the norm here a lot longer than normal. Yet, finally it seems we are warming up!

Yesterday I was able to “plant my garden”, which for me is going to be a container garden so it is reachable for me from my wheelchair. Oh how lovely it was to get those young plants into new homes! The smell of the sweet basil, peppermint and lavender was intoxicating! The sturdiness of the bell pepper and tomato plants was encouraging! The sharpness of the leeks as I broke up the root ball was a reminder of wild onions being mown over by someone’s lawn mower. This year I added Snapdragons, Petunias and a Boston Fern to the mix. I’m already thinking of a few more plants I want to add. Perhaps parsley, garlic, rosemary and dill. Maybe a couple more tomato and bell pepper plants too.

Our deck looks full of life, new life. Perfect for spring.

I was amazed at the difference my four hour gardening made in my thought processes. Just being out in the fresh air and seeing signs of spring arriving a little more closely enveloped me in hope. Hope in spring seems absolutely perfect. Especially for a Christian.

Jesus went to Calvary and was crucified on the cross just after the Jewish celebration of Passover. This comes in spring. The hope that was born those three days arrived when Jesus defeated death and when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome took spices so that they might anoint Jesus’ body. The women discussed how they could possibly roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb so they could get inside as they went to Jesus’ borrowed tomb. Yet the Lord had already taken care of this need for them for the stone had been rolled away by the power of God. When the women reached the tomb male angels greeted them and in Luke 24:5 one of them asks Mary, Mary and Salome “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”*

The sweltering heat of summer gives light and warmth to the earth. The crispness of fall air is a reminder of the bounty of harvest. The chill and dormant activity of winter makes quiet the energy and bustle of growth. It is the spring that fulfills the promise of the other seasons, the beginning of new life, the birth of hope.

Often times I find my heart in winter regardless of the season outside my window. Then days occur like yesterday when I had my hands in soil, breaking up root balls of plants some for harvest and some for joy that I look for signs of life. I look to see what has been dormant, what has been waiting for the earth to warm so life can begin anew, what is now beginning to show fulfillment of that promise of new life. Oh to never forget the hope of spring!

My heart would be much lighter if I remembered the warmth of the spring sun, gentle and soothing. My mind would be more productive if I focused on new beginnings instead of endings. If I planted hope instead of grief. My spirit would soar instead of hibernating any longer.

Jesus offered us the perfect gift in springtime. His sacrifice gives us hope for this earth and a promise of eternity in His presence. Spring has sprung at last in Alabama and this Southern Steel Magnolia is mighty happy about this arrival, mighty happy indeed.


*For the Biblical accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection read Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24 and John 18-24.