1 Peter 1:3-6 - 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.
It was some time ago that King George VI of England addressed the British Commonwealth on New Year's Eve. Although the king didn't know it, cancer was eating at him, and he would die before the end of that year. The world's future was then, as it always seems to be, hopeless.
That king spoke these words: "I said to the man at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I might walk safely into the unknown.' And he said to me, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. It shall be to you safer than the light and better than the known.'"
That is what I would like to say to you this day.
Don't stop the Holy Spirit from placing your hand into the hand of your Savior. Hope is a fragile thing, and when it shrivels and shrinks, it takes a miracle to revive it. Hopelessness is a disease of the soul which takes a Savior to bring about a cure. If you are, or know someone who feels you have nothing to hope for, whose days are being spent waiting for a better tomorrow which you're convinced will never come, let me share this miracle: you have a living, risen Savior.
If all you can see is darkness stretching out before you, believe that the Savior's nail-pierced hand is also stretching out to you. Jesus, who has defeated death, can defeat any and all problems that plague you. He can bring peace to any harm which is in your heart. He can bring hope to the deepest of hurts.
In short, life with Christ is filled with endless hope, and without Him there is only a hopeless end.
Too good to be true? Not at all. My friends, if you ever visit the catacombs in Rome, those underground tunnels where many early Christians are buried, look at the sermons preached by the symbols on their graves.
You will, if you look closely enough, see three common signs: a dove, a fish, and an anchor. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit who gives us faith and hope. The fish, in Greek, ichthus, is an acronym for the words: Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior. Jesus is the basis for all hope and heaven.
And the anchor?
The anchor says that in seemingly hopeless times, when all is adrift, Jesus is our God-given hope who anchors our souls. Sermons from the grave, hundreds of years old, sermons which say there are no hopeless situations. Daily Devotioners, I have run out of space, but I pray you will be brought to see, or will continue to see, that the risen Redeemer is the living hope who changes the dark of a sinful world into the light and joy of fellowship with our Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, as long as I live in this world I will be subject to sin's darkness. Grant that where that darkness is the greatest I may be led with certainty by the light of my living Lord. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries