REST YOUR HOPE ON GOD’S DIVINE FAVOR

REST YOUR HOPE ON GOD’S DIVINE FAVOR

“So brace up your minds, and, as men who know what they are doing, rest the full weight of your hopes on the grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ reveals himself.” 1 Peter 1:13 [PHILLIPS]

I never thought that I would ever say this, but it is true; reading the Bible is one very interesting experience. Interesting because the varied choice of vocabulary used by the different translations throws up revelations I never expected. And today’s verse is one good example.

Hope is always a good thing, isn’t it? Didn’t Alexander Pope say,

“Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.”

Indeed, hope is a lifter of heads. For isn’t hope the very thing that faith is founded on?

“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].” Hebrews 11:1 [AMP]

Faith is the assurance that the things we hope for will come to us.

So hope is a good thing. It gives us a reason to look forward, a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to live and fight another day. And when we read the other translations of 1 Peter 1:13, we see that they all conform to that idea of ‘hope’ being a good thing.

“…fix your hope completely on the grace [of God]…” 1 Peter 1:13 [AMP]

“…set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor)…” 1 Peter 1:13 [AMPC]

We ‘fix’ and ‘set’ our hope on the grace of God. We take what is good and we put it on His unmerited, unearned, undeserved divine favor. That’s such a good thing, isn’t it? In fact, Wycliffe translates it even more beautifully,

“…hope ye into that grace that is proffered to you by the showing of Jesus Christ [and hope ye into that grace that is offered to you by the revelation, or showing, of Jesus Christ],” 1 Peter 1:13 [WYC]
He says that we should hope our way into the grace of God, use hope as our psychological conduit to channel us into the realization that we are under, we are deserving, we are always worthy to receive God’s divine favor.

So I find it very interesting then that both the NKJV and J.B. Phillips translates this verse as

“…rest the full weight of your hopes on the grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ reveals himself.” 1 Peter 1:13 [PHILLIPS]

“…rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1 Peter 1:13 [NKJV]

Can hope be a burden? Can hope ever weigh us down? Then it dawned on me; yes, hope can be a burden – when it is not realized.

Remember when you were a kid and you used to ask your parents for things? You ‘hoped’ that they would get them for you, didn’t you? Then you got older, and when you started dating, you used to ‘hint’ at certain things and ‘hoped’ that your partner would understand, right?

And sometimes, your hopes would be fulfilled. You would get the toy you wanted, or you would get to go on that ‘dinner and movie’ date with the person you fancied. But there were also times when your hopes were dashed, weren’t there? Remember how heavy your heart felt? What was weighing on it? Yes, hope.

And when we look at our walk with Jesus, it is a bit like that too, isn’t it? We pray fervently, we ask in earnest, we proclaim in faith; but sometimes it just doesn’t come. And when the answer gets delayed for long enough, the hope becomes a burden.

Beloved child of God, there is no easy way to deal with that weight. But Peter tells us that when the weight of our hope is weighing us down, we can,

“…rest the full weight of your hopes on the grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ reveals himself.” 1 Peter 1:13 [PHILLIPS]

“…rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1 Peter 1:13 [NKJV]

You know, when you ‘hold on’ to the hope of the things which you want to come, you are actually ‘carrying’ your hope.

Now, I don’t mean to play smart games with words, but think about it, isn’t it true? When you keep thinking about it, when you keep looking out for the manifestation of your hope, you are filling your consciousness with thoughts of that ‘hope’; and slowly, you begin to worry that the ‘hope’ will not materialize. And right at that moment, your ‘hope’ has turned into ‘worry’.

And we all know what Jesus has to say about ‘worry’, don’t we?

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry…” Matthew 6:25

And again, “Therefore do not worry,…” Matthew 6:31

So from here we realize that if we are not careful, that which was always meant to be beautiful; hope; can turn into something which is bad for us; worry. How then do we make sure that we don’t turn our hopes into worry?

“…rest the full weight of your hopes on the grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ reveals himself.” 1 Peter 1:13 [PHILLIPS]

“…rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1 Peter 1:13 [NKJV]

But what does it mean to ‘rest’ our hopes on Christ?

Well, remember what the other translations said?

“…fix your hope completely on the grace [of God]…” 1 Peter 1:13 [AMP]

“…set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor)…” 1 Peter 1:13 [AMPC]

We take our hopes, we take all those things that we want accomplished and achieved in our lives, and we say, ‘Jesus, here. These are the things that I would like to have accomplished; and because You love me, I know you will get them done for me.’

Now, I know what you are thinking; isn’t it very presumptuous of me to assume that whatever we ask for we will receive? Well, no and no. No it is not presumptuous to assume that whatever we ask for, we will receive, because Jesus said,

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

That’s not an isolated verse either, because Jesus also said, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

In fact, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12

Yet, I am still not assuming that whatever we ask for, we will get. You see, when we hand over our hopes to Jesus, we need to remember a few things. Firstly, we need to remember that

“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.” 1 Peter 1:17 [MSG]

He’s going to know if it is bad for you; and if it is bad for you, He’s not going to let you have it. But at the same time, He’s not going to leave you without an alternative either, because,

“…I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

And as long as we trust that He loves us and only wants to prosper us, we can have the confidence that He will always “…do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”. Ephesians 3:20

““For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”” Isaiah 55:8-9

Trust Him, He’s got it all figured out.

You know, if we think about it, ‘hope’ turns to ‘worry’ when the devil starts asking ‘why isn’t it here yet’. So in order to protect ourselves from those needless and groundless attacks, we need to rest our hope in Christ.

You see, when Peter said this, he said,

“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;” 1 Peter 1:13

“Gird up the loins your mind” [NKJV], “roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear,” [MSG], “brace up your minds” [PHILLIPS], “prepare your minds for action” [AMP]; for indeed, when there is hope in your heart, you must be prepared for battle, for you-know-who is going to come and do you-know-what to you.

But the beautiful part about this is, we can have the confidence to know that when you-know-who tries to turn our ‘hope’ into ‘worry’, all we need to do is ‘rest’, ‘fix’ and ‘set’ our hopes on Christ and let Him take over, because our Father

“…has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” 1 Peter 1:3

And what is this living hope?

“…an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:4-5

We have an inheritance waiting for us. And from now till then, we are kept by the power of God through faith. So there is no reason for us to even wonder if we are under the divine favor of God?

Beloved, hope is good, hope lifts up and hope gives us courage and reason to carry on. Indeed we should continue to hope and have hope. But we should also rest our hope on Christ. Don’t carry the burden of materializing your hope on your own. For you are undoubtedly under the divine favor of God, and He will get it done.

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