Throughout the Bible, we see that God’s people are called to live lives that honor God, “for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy'” (1 Peter 1:16). Often these direct commands to live holy are given with a reminder of our blessed hope in Christ. For example, the verse just cited follows these verses: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (13-15).
The Christian hope is a purifier. The more we think about our hope and the more precious our hope becomes to us, the easier – the more natural – it is for us to live a life pleasing to God. On the flipside, the less we consider our hope, the easier – the more natural – it is for us to live a life focused on pleasing ourselves.
So the challenge for us is to cultivate our sense of hope. Spending time reading God’s promises in Scripture, going to church to be with others who share our hope, listening to music, watching movies and reading magazines and books emphasizing our hope – all of these can help us attain the purification that comes with fixing our hope on Jesus.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).
Your Turn: How does hope help you pursue holiness?