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One New Year’s Resolution

January 7, 2022

New Year’s Resolutions aren’t as popular as they once were, but still, a new year does present us with opportunities to think of new beginnings.  I have noticed, that a great many pundits are hoping that 2022 is better than 2021.  But given the year has started with the surge of the Omicron variant, at least the beginning of 2022 will be a bit bumpy.

But that leads me to ponder what it is that I hope for.  And I have been led to consider the words of 1 Peter 1:3–4.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”

This passage is curious.  If I were to have written it, I would have said, “He has caused us to be born again through the atoning death of Jesus”.  Instead, Peter says we have been born again through the resurrection of Jesus.  That’s curious.  And yet, as we examine the passage more closely, we see that Peter talks about being born again to a living hope.  Again, that’s curious.  Normally, when we think of the new birth, we think about the miracle of regeneration.  Our old nature that resists God has been replaced by a new nature that welcomes God.  But Peter, speaks about a new birth to a living hope.  That is to say, not only does our new birth give us a new nature or a new heart, it gives us a new hope.  That hope, says Peter, is informed by Christ’s resurrection.

Peter then goes on to speak about the nature of that hope.  He speaks about a hope that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.  He is, of course, speaking about our eternal hope reserved for us in heaven. This hope is unlike the hopes and dreams of people who long for a better 2022.  The hope Peter has in mind is indestructible, is not polluted by adverse events, and does not gradually pass from our minds.

As I have said, I have been musing on this passage as I consider the year ahead.  For many of us, the term hope, is a term that we reserve for this world.  We hope it is a better year than 2021.  We hope the pandemic will end, that inflation will be curbed, that the impact of global climate change will be less severe than some predict, and that the social unrest in elements of our society will come to naught.  And on a personal note, we have all manner of other hopes and dreams for this year that we would like to see fulfilled.  But all those hopes are perishable, defiled and fading.  For all the hopes in this world will pass away.

If I have one New Year’s Resolution for this year, it is that I might always remember where my hope lies.  Peter mentions that, for a little while, we may be grieved by various trials.  But he also reminds us that God uses these trials to test whether or not our faith is genuine.  He reminds us that all that is in this world is passing away.  For this reason, it is a vain thing to put our hope in that which is perishing.

I would encourage you, my dear reader, to have the hope Peter speaks of.  Embrace fully the hope given you through the resurrection, and may this be your ONLY reason for hope in this coming year.  Then you will not be disappointed when this year is done.


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