“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.” —1 Peter 1:3-4
An Experiment With Rats Undergoing Hardship
A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the affect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water, and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope! Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should its effect be on our lives. (Today in the Word, May, 1990, MBI, p. 34)
COVID-19 has cast a dark shadow of hopelessness over our world. Many people feel hopelessly overwhelmed as they are bombarded with news about the terror of Coronavirus around the world. Yet amid the desperation of so many people, we are reminded of the living hope to which we have been born again through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In times of hopelessness, believers should remember the lyrics of the hymn entitled “My hope is built on nothing less,” written by Edward Mote. In the second stanza, Edward says, “When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”
Because Jesus has triumphed over death and darkness, we have a living hope that we will overcome the darkness of COVID-19. Therefore, we can stay afloat amid our struggle with COVID-19 and the financial crisis that is stalking us because Jesus is our anchor, and he will not let us drown. Our Savior has gone ahead to intercede for us so we can find mercy in our times of need.
Even if we were to succumb to Coronavirus, today’s text reminds us of the hope of an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us. At a time when so many people are dying or losing their jobs, that is good news worth proclaiming. Indeed, we need to proclaim the salvation of the Lord to a troubled world. The world needs to be reminded that if God can raise Jesus from the dead after three days, he can rescue us from COVID-19 and fix the world’s economies.
My brothers and sisters, please do not give up hope. If you are feeling anxious, remember, “The suffering of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). The Lord promised that He would wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Revelation 21:4).
On this Easter Monday, I want to encourage you to lean on the living hope you have in the resurrected Jesus so you can rejoice in the Lord despite the reality of suffering in the world. That does not mean you should not mourn the loss of a loved one or lament financial hardships. However, “we do not grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Instead, “we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for the living hope we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. May that hope help us go through the darkness of COVID-19 that has engulfed our world.