Living on the Wings of Hope

Reading: 1 Peter 1:13-16

The First Epistle of Peter was written to the church in Asia Minor, which was not large or dominant in society. It was a church that, in a way, was a “foreign body” in its environment and was already facing persecution that threatened to escalate. In such a context, the daily life of this church was filled with various trials. Peter wants Christians to understand that as they give their best while going through trials, they are also being purified and prepared for what is to come. And that is the Judgment of God. The Judgment is good news for Peter and begins with the house of God. After that comes the reward – the salvation of souls – accompanied by rejoicing and filled with joy. He further adds that the prophets, who explored and tried to understand this same salvation that they experienced with Christ, are something that even angels desire to comprehend. Therefore, being a Christian is a privilege, not only for the early Christians in their time but also for us today. It is a privilege to live and bear witness to the same salvation through Christ Jesus.

Let’s read today’s text:

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Peter tells them to live carried by the wings of hope. Living on the wings of hope means having a sense of purpose and goals that lie ahead of us. What do we hope for? The grace of God will be revealed (apokalupsis) when Jesus Christ comes. Although God gives grace here and now, Peter has in mind the grace that we will know at the end of the journey. But we will surely not have this experience if we do not live consistently.

So, what should we do? Peter’s recommendation is this: “Gird up the loins of your mind (your understanding)…”

In other words, roll up your sleeves and prepare for hard work! And what is that hard work? That work is primarily in the mind or understanding. The mind, we can say, is the ability to understand. I think it is crucial for each of us to go back to the early days of our faith and remember whether we have correctly received the teaching of salvation and new birth. When we, convinced by evidence and the working of the Holy Spirit, called Jesus into our lives, He came and dwelt in us by the Spirit. He sanctified us, turned unclean into clean, the unacceptable into acceptable, the distant into close, the enemy into a friend.

And we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16b)

It is difficult to give a formula for any aspect of the spiritual life because spiritual life does not happen by itself – it happens through interaction with God. That is why in these verses, we have echoes of the story of the Exodus: “And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.” (Exodus 12:11)
Peter continues by saying, “Stay sober!” We need to have balance. Sobriety is mentioned here as the opposite of being in a state of intoxication, which diminishes our power of discernment. Intoxication also affects motor skills – a person under the influence of drugs cannot stand firmly on their feet. It’s easy to throw them off balance.

Peter wants believers to be awake and in touch with the spiritual reality around them.

It’s dangerous not to be aware that everything we do has spiritual consequences for ourselves and others. It’s dangerous not to recognize temptation as temptation (often, temptation comes in the form of good things but not necessarily the best things). It’s dangerous not to judge things from a Christian point of view. We need to live this life with the understanding that we are living it in front of God’s eyes, and that everything we do resonates in eternity.

Prayer: Lord, give us strength to be ready to live on the wings of hope that we have in You and Your promises in these

Posted in Daily devotionals.