“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
I love the Easter season because of the encouragement it gives our lives. Do you need some encouragement? I like what Doug Fields said about encouragement. “This is the test for determining if someone needs encouragement. If the person is breathing, he or she needs encouragement.”
Perhaps you recently had a good idea and someone said to you, “It won’t work.” Or maybe a dream has been stirring in your heart, but the more you think about it you keep telling yourself, “I can’t afford that.” Are you dealing with a problem child and feeling you don’t know what to do? Does it seem to you that your life has been filled with one setback, one challenge, one problem after another? Yes, we all need encouragement.
The Bible verse at the beginning of this post shows 3 encouragements that come to us as a result of Jesus’ resurrection.
Easter encourages us by reminding us that we matter to God.
The verse speaks of God’s “great mercy.” The word mercy is a remarkable Bible word. It describes the compassion, love and concern that God has for people in need. God sees us hurting, and His heart goes out to us. Of course, the biggest problem any of us will ever have is our sin—our willful disobedience toward God.
In mercy God sent Jesus, His one and only Son, to die on a cross for our sin. On that cross, Jesus took upon Himself all our sins, all our rebellion, all our mistakes and all our failures. As we trust, in faith, what Jesus did for us on that cross, He forgives us of all our sins.
God did this for you because you matter so much to Him.
Easter encourages us by giving us a fresh start.
Our verse states, “He has given us a new birth.” Have you ever heard someone say that he or she was a “born again Christian”? That person was referring to this term “new birth.” The term describes what can happen in your life if you will come to Jesus and say, “Jesus, I want to follow your plan, not mine. I want to get to know you and your purpose for my life. Will you please forgive me for going my own way? I realize I need you in my life. Please come into my life and help become the person You meant for me to be.”
When you come to Jesus like this your life will take on a new orientation. God will give you a fresh start, a new beginning. I don’t know of anyone who couldn’t use a fresh start. Do you?
Easter encourages us by giving us hope.
Our verse goes on to speak about “a living hope.” Note the verse doesn’t talk just about hope, but about living hope. What does that mean? Often when we speak of hope we are speaking of nothing more than wishful thinking: “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” “I hope we have fish for lunch today.” But when the Bible uses the word hope it means “confident assurance based on God’s promises in His Word, the Bible.” This confident assurance is living. Why? Because Jesus is alive, and God’s Word, the Bible, is alive. That means everyday of your life can be lived with confident assurance.
I saw these words on a church brochure. “Good morning, this is God. I will be handling your problems today. I will not need your help. So, relax and have a great day.” Every day can be a joyful, confident day because God is in control. That’s hope. That’s confident assurance.
The resurrection of Jesus tells us that God has the power to raise anything and anyone from the depths. What in your life needs raising? Your vision? Your purpose? Your strength? Your optimism? Your morals? Your commitment? Your love for people? Your patience? Choose to allow Jesus’ incredible resurrection power to work in your life. That’s where the hope really is.