If we dwell on all the negatives of our nation and the world today, we could find ourselves drifting into a state of hopelessness and despair. But in Jesus, we can find hope beyond the misery. The Apostle Peter mentions in 1 Peter 1:3 that as believers we have a "living hope." Our "living hope" starts with placing our faith and trust in the risen Jesus. Jesus ... who was God's only begotten Son, was perfect and sinless. He, and only He, was the perfect sacrifice for man's sins. Jesus died on that cruel cross of Calvary. But, upon His death ... in His misery ... Jesus conquered sin. Then, on the third day, Jesus arose alive out of His tomb! By so doing, He conquered death. Because of Jesus, we too have hope today. No matter our struggles, or trials, or pain, or situation, we have a "living hope" through our living Lord! This brings us tremendous encouragement when we feel consumed by our fears.
Just how then do we claim our "living hope?" First, we must be totally focused on Jesus. He is the "groom" ... we are the "bride." We must be focused, dedicated, and faithful in our spiritual relationship with Jesus. Second, we must be in God's Word. We must read it, study it, obey it, and apply it to our daily lives. Lastly, we must remember four simple truths: 1) when our faith is weak, joy strengthens us; 2) when our good is mistreated, endurance stabilizes us; 3) when our confidence is shaken, love supports us; and 4) when the Devil attacks, our resistance to him shields us.
So this morning, be encouraged. There is hope beyond misery. There is hope in Jesus, our "living hope."