Hope As An Anchor for the Soul- 1Peter 1:3-9

In our previous post, we saw how biblical hope serves as an “anchor for the soul” (Hebrews 6:19), and how that hope stabilizes the dimensions of the soul; the mind, will and emotions. We will now see how that hope can stabilize the soul itself. The soul is seen as the personality, it is who we are, it is what makes us a unique individual. It is our identity, our self-image, and no two souls are exactly alike. We will now turn to 1 Peter 1:3-9 to examine how true biblical hope also serves as anchor to stabilize our identity and self-image as well, how it can stabilize our very beings. Peter begins, in verse 3, by telling us that we are to praise God, for “in His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope”. We find both mercy and grace mentioned in this verse. In God’s mercy, we don’t get the spiritual death we deserve due to our sin, and in His grace, we do get the spiritual life we don’t deserve due to Jesus’ death and resurrection. The thing to note here is that this “new birth” (Greek anagennao- literally “born again”) is “into” something, into a “living hope”. The word translated living here is the present active participle of zao- to live, but this term refers to a special kind of life, the life of God, a life which can only be found in union with God through Jesus Christ, a life which has found its true meaning and purpose. We are “born again” as a new creation with a new identity, with a new and settled purpose, into a new quality of life. This new “way of living” comes because our identity and worth are now grounded in true biblical hope, grounded in the truth of the Scriptures, we are who God says we are and are worth what He says we are worth, and the opinions of others no longer matter. We are no longer looking to anything or anyone but God to tell us who we are or give us a sense of worth. Peter then tells us, in verse 4&5, that this hope is absolutely certain since it is from God and “kept in heaven” for us, but also helping to “shield” us through the storms of life until the time we get to heaven. We “greatly rejoice” in this hope (verse 6), even though now we “may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials”. The word translated as “may have had” in the NIV is the Greek word dei, which literally means “it is necessary”, and the message here is not that trials may or may not come, but that they are a necessity in the Christian life. These trials, however, are not random and meaningless, they have a purpose, and Peter gives us that purpose in verse 7. He begins verse 7 with the Greek hina- “in order that”, a term of purpose. The trials come “in order that” something else may happen. And what is the something else which Peter tells us the trials come for? They come in order that “our faith may be proved genuine and result in praise glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed”. Living in true biblical hope in the face of difficulties builds faith, and this results in “praise, glory and honor” for Jesus Christ. By living in hope, we bring glory to Jesus. How is this so? Jesus created everything (Col. 1:16, John 1:3), and everything created was created by Him and for His glory, and everything that exists brings Him glory when it does what He created it to do. We bring Him glory by doing what he created us to do, and the trials of life come for the express purpose here of “helping” us find out who we really are and what He created us to do. We are, therefore, stabilized in the midst of the issues of life, because we know and expect (hope) that the trials of life are from God and have a purpose. We have true biblical hope as an “anchor for the soul” because we understand and “hope” in the fact that all the issues of life are used by God to give us a sure and settled understanding of who we are and what we are worth, our souls “anchored” in our hope in God and His word. We come to understand who we are and what we are here for, and this understanding stabilizes our identity and sense of worth, for they are grounded in “hope”, we expect God to make us what we are created to be and realize He uses the trials of life to help bring this about.

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