Peter the apostle wrote to people who had experienced an inner transformation. Jesus had invaded their lives as they had heard the gospel and had believed in him. They had been given “a new birth into a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). He went on to say that they had a secure inheritance in Christ and that their lives were now “shielded by God’s power.” These people had hope. That same hope is offered to us on the same terms: reckless faith in the promises of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This came home to me in a conversation I had with a friend I will call Todd who had recently become a Christian. “I know Jesus is alive because of what he has done for me.” He had lost all hope of recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. His marriage was unhappy and his performance at work was declining.
He tried to change but he was powerless to overcome his addictions. In spite of the difficulties in their marriage, his wife was patiently praying for him. His neighbor was a friend he had known for years. He seemed to understand what Todd was going through.
His friend invited him to get together so they went jogging. As they ran, his friend said, “I want to tell you what has been happening in my life.” They met every evening after work to run together, and his friend would tell him how Jesus had forgiven him of his sins and had changed his life. He explained how Todd too could have a new life through faith in Jesus Christ.
Todd told me that he came home after one of these conversations, aching with guilt and tired of the struggle. He went to his bedroom, closed the door, and called out to the Lord, “God if you’re real; Jesus, if you’re really who they say you are, please save me. Take control of my life. I need you.”
“That was the best night of my life,” Todd told me. There is much more to the story, but he said, “God healed me of the desire for drink and drugs. He brought my family back together. I know Jesus is alive because of what he did for me!”
Peter’s letter is all about this kind of transformation. It was effective in Todd’s life and it is available for you, too. In the words of Warren Wiersbe, “We have a living hope because we have a living savior.” Carl F.H. Henry said that Jesus “planted the only durable rumor of hope amid the widespread despair of a hopeless world.”
Believe this. Peter, the apostle of the Lord, said that when you put your faith in Jesus, “you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9). Receive it the way Todd did, with bold, reckless, helpless faith. The living Christ is ready to transform your life and give you eternal hope, based on his gospel.