March 16, 2021 | Dan Low
In a recent conversation with a good friend, we talked about what it’s like to hit rock bottom. Right now, we are surrounded by stuff that can easily drag us down. Distance learning that has extended so much longer than any student or parent ever envisioned. Loved ones battling the physical and emotional struggles with COVID-19, including the loss of individuals extremely dear to us. Feeling disconnected from our usually reliable and nourishing networks of support. Anxiety over our work and financial situation. Realizing that a return to “normal” will be slower and different than we had imagined. With all that’s happening, it seems like we’re close to the bottom.
During the final stretch of Jesus’ ministry, his one-time brash and confident followers must have felt like they were in a free fall. Mounting opposition from the recognized authorities. Stunning predictions of betrayal and desertion from Jesus’ own hand-picked apostles. Crowds who once welcomed their Messiah now turning against him, even demanding his execution as a spiritual imposter and political threat. And then seeing their absolute worst fear realized: Jesus hanging on a cross. What would be their future? Their new normal?
An apostle who shamefully knew firsthand what it was like to hit rock bottom, Peter joyfully elevates our focus on God because “in his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
As we place our faith in Jesus who conquered death through his resurrection, God grants us a new birth that results in a living hope. In short, our hope is vibrant because our Savior is victorious. When we collectively hold fast to our living hope in Jesus, the troubled world around us catches a glimpse of the sovereign God above us. And that makes all the difference today and forever.