“Heading Home… Heartened and Hopeful” (1 Peter 1: 3-9)

Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed, alleluia! What a wonderful day of celebration! I know many preachers who feel like they could preach forever about Easter. (Don’t worry! I didn’t say that I would preach forever, I just said that I could!) But our worship, singing and praise will go on forever. Think of our glorious Easter worship, today, as a “foretaste of the feast which is to come.” Each Easter gets us “one step” closer to home!

Peter tells us that our Heavenly Father, “In His great mercy has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1: 3) We are on a journey toward our heavenly home and sometimes it can seem like “such a long journey!” Have you ever been on a long car trip with your children? “How much farther is it?” “Are we almost there?” “I can’t wait; are we almost there?” When we can finally answer, “Yes, we’re almost there,” there is SO much Joy! There is renewed joy in our hearts and a new “bounce” in our steps. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “…they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come… to save you.’” (Isaiah 35: 2-4)

It can be easy for us to begin to lose heart throughout the long journey of our earthly lives. Trials of various sorts; financial woes; employment or underemployment concerns; troubles in relationships; the death of loved ones and so many other difficulties can bring discouragement. But Peter reminds us that we are born into a living hope “and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” (1 Peter 1: 4)

We have this confident hope through faith because we are “shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1: 5) His almighty love and power shield us from sin, death and the power of the devil. And His mercies are new every day. He shows His mercy through His word when we come to Him in our family devotions, personal prayer time and in our corporate Bible studies. Through worship and sermons and the “mutual consolation of the brethren,” He comes to us anew to strengthen our faith in Jesus who lived, died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins. This faith is “of greater worth than gold” and will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ in revealed. This Spirit-given, saving faith is “faith without sight”… “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1: 8-9)

Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed, alleluia! Now, through the resurrected Christ, our faith is renewed and our hope is restored. There is joy in our hearts and a new “bounce” in our steps. We are “Heading Toward Home… Heartened and Hopeful.”

Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed, alleluia! And it makes all the difference in the world! Amen!

See you in church this week!      

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Snow

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