Today’s verse is 1 Peter 1:3.
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,
What does it mean to live with great expectation? Well, the first thing I thought of was Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, which I must admit I have only read portions of. If I’m correct, I believe it centers around a mistreated child’s expectations of wealth, but it’s Dickens so it will be a morality tale as well.
I think everyone lives with a certain level of expectation. If we live in the U.S., we expect to be free to speak our minds and believe what we want. If we are children, we expect that our parents will provide for us. If we are adults, we expect our taxes to go up every year.
But what does it mean to live with great expecation? The Amplified Version says the same verse this way:
3Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Ever-living hope. To live with great expectation means to live with a hope that never dies. As Christians, though, can we honestly say we live like that? Do we face each day with confidence and certainty, knowing deep down inside that Christ has saved us? Do we let that fact seep into our thoughts and our actions every moment? If we did, none of us would ever have a bad day.
Yes, there are difficult people in our lives. And there are challenges to deal with. And obstacles to overcome. And stress. Loads and loads of stress. But what are those but bumps in the road? What are they but little pebbles in our shoes? If you’re walking in a park and you get a pebble in your shoe, does it ruin your whole day? No. That would be silly. When you get a pebble in your shoe, you walk to a place where you can lean, take your shoe off, dump it out, put it on and keep walking.
We can’t live with great expectation if all we focus on are our failures or the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in. If focus on the difficulties, they will become insurmountable. But if we look at them as just a passing annoyance, something that’s there to bother us until we learn a lesson from it, then they won’t seem so intimidating.
Now, am I saying to take your difficulties lightly? No. We all have trouble in our lives, but all have it for a reason. Trouble is never random. For every cause there is an effect. Some effects may stem from the cause that the world is broken. People have trouble they don’t deserve. That is true. But oftentimes the case is that we bring trouble on ourselves. And we shouldn’t step back and take that with a grain of salt. We need to realize where it comes from and take the appropriate steps to correct the problem . . . otherwise it will come back . . . or it will never leave in the first place.
God lets us go through difficult things to help us learn. Because we learn from trouble. We get stronger if we’re weak. Or we get weaker if we’re too strong. But in either case, our faith grows because God doesn’t ever let us down, no matter what we’re going through.
1 Peter 1:3 is the beginning of a sentence, and it doesn’t finish the thought. You’ll notice the comma at the end of the verse. So I was wondering what the rest of the verse said. I thought I’d look at it in the Message. Even though the Message is a paraphrase, it gives a really good idea of the whole concept of the passage.
1 Peter 1:3-5
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.
Live with great expectation. That’s what believers are called to do. Walk through every day with hope, understanding that trouble we have are there to teach us and when we learn the lessons we need to learn, they’ll fade away.
We have an ever-living hope in Christ and a future in heaven and God is watching over us. If we keep that in mind and truly live by it, I’m not sure we’ll ever have a bad day. Oh, there will be difficult days and hard days, but if our perspective is in the right place, they’ll just be a pebble in your shoe. Annoying but pretty easy to leave behind.