The Highest Best Cause

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls… You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” 1 Peter 1:3-9,23

Blessed be God, the Father of Jesus Christ! Why? Because He has caused us to be born again! He has effected salvation that brings light and life to the lost and dying! He has secured for us an unshakable, everlasting inheritance, and guards us now with mercy and faith. He has ushered in vital hope and assurance for dark and difficult times, and through them makes us holy. He works all things for good to bring about the highest good, His glory, when all praise and glory and honor is bestowed on Jesus. (Romans 8:28-30; Philippians 2:9-11)

So how will we bless Him? By allowing His highest best cause to be borne out in our everyday living. By trusting His resurrection power to enable real victory over sin habits and wayward affections. By yielding to His benevolent authority and cooperating with His sanctification. By loving Him, believing Him, and choosing to rejoice in the midst of grievous pain and uncertainty. These blessings to Him will fill us with inexpressible joy, even as He works out and completes our faith.

If indeed we have been born again to a living hope, how does that hope affect the way we ponder, plan, work, serve, spend, and worship? How does a sure inheritance placate fears, and God’s mercy cover regrets? How does heavenly purpose adjust our priorities, and the love of God define our interactions? How and where will joy and rejoicing spill from us to shed abroad the beautiful glories of our Savior?

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that we no more may die,
born to raise us from the earth,
born to give us second birth.

Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the newborn King
.‘” ~Charles Wesley (1739)

Father, keep my hope set fully on the grace that Jesus’s coming brings. May my cause be Yours: to embrace and impart Your holiness and eternal, living hope in Christ in every way. (1 Peter 1:13,15-16)

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