Posted by: bellissimanh | November 14, 2007

Inheritance of a Princess

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”   (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Isn’t it amazing how much truth can be packed into a few short verses? This short passage of Scripture touched my heart today, and I pray that as I share with you the things I felt the Lord teaching me, it will yours as well! 

I love the way Paul begins this letter. To get the full picture, you’d have to back up to verse 1, but he is writing to the Christians who were scattered throughout Asia Minor.  These saints were suffering persecution for their faith. They were in some tough times. It would have been so easy for them to become discouraged, and feel defeated, and yet here Paul is, encouraging them to praise the Lord!

I’ve been in a funk lately. It’s nothing I can put my finger on specifically, but rather a combination of things, I guess. I’m exhausted. I’m drained. I’m unmotivated. I’m discouraged. While it’s nothing like what the Christians of Paul’s day were experiencing, there are times I even feel persecuted.  It’s as if I hear Paul speaking directly to me… encouraging me… “Blessed be the Lord, Heather! Praise Him! What are you waiting for?”  Ok. Message received. 🙂

The next thing that really struck me is the type of hope I have in Christ. It’s a vigorous, active, operating hope! The Greek word for hope is “elpis”, and this is not your run of the mill, dreamy, wish-upon-a-star kind of hope. It is so much more than that! This is confident expectancy! Biblical hope is not so much a concept as it is a Person!

“For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5)

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope…” (1 Tim. 1:1)

So the question for me becomes this: Does my hope affect the way I live? Am I eager to explain it? Does my hope stabilize me? Life without Christ is a hopeless end, but life with Him is endless hope! My life needs to reflect that! And yet so often I get caught up in the here and now, and I take my eyes off that hope. Before I know it, I’m walking around defeated and discouraged. Thank You for reminding me that YOU are my hope, Lord, and that it is something to celebrate! Oh, how I need You to help me re-order my priorities so that they are set on the everlasting, rather than the ever passing. Restore the joy, Father!

Because of that living hope, we have an inheritance! It’s described three different ways: it is imperishable, it is undefiled, and it does not fade away.

The word for imperishable is “aphthartos,” and if you take it back to the root origin, it means that it cannot be ravaged by hostile forces. Don’t you just love that? The enemy cannot touch this inheritance… there is no contesting this will, baby!

Our inheritance is also undefiled. “Amiantos” literally means “unstained.” Our inheritance is in perfect condition, free from any spot of dirt or pollution on it. It is pure as the driven snow and free from any effect or influence that would deform or debase it or cause it to lose its vigor or value. It can’t be cheapened in any way, and it will never disappoint. I think of earthly inheritances and how once acquired, they often lead to greediness and materialism, but this inheritance is pure. It will not corrupt the soul or tempt us to extravangance… it is just perfect.

Lastly, our inheritance will not fade away. The Greek word is “amarantos”. Actually, an amaranth was a flower that never faded, symbolizing perpetuity. Our inheritance will be kept in its original brightness and beauty. It will not lose its pristine quality or character. It is always in bloom and never loses its hue or fragrance.  Albert Barnes notes, “The crown of glory, though worn for millions of ages, will not be dimmed; the golden streets will lose none of their luster; the flowers that bloom on the banks of the river of life will always be as rich in color, and as fragrant, as when we first beheld them.” Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!!  

If you’re like me, you can use an extra dose of hope today. Maybe reflecting on the inheritance that the Lord has reserved for you in heaven will stir you up and revive your heart. I pray that you will feel the fresh touch of His abundant mercy in your life, and that it will awaken something in your soul to shout at the top of your lungs,

“Blessed be Your name, Lord! I praise You!”

C’mon, now… don’t be shy! You can do it! Take a deep breath, throw your head back and shout for joy!

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Responses

  1. Heather,
    This is such a timely blog for me! We had a n unusual service on Sunday, one of my friends described it like this. She just felt like the Lord wanted to hear her praise Him. Someone else said they wanted to praise Him, not asking for anything, not seeking a blessing, just for Him to hear us Praise. We sing a song, “I Bless your name” and its about Paul and Silas in prison. With bleeding stripes.. They praised and the chains fell off! Its such a picutre for us. So sister, I WILL throw my head back and shout for JOY. You know why? He has been faithful, and He will always be faithful. Dark is the night, but JOY comes in the morning. Love you, S

  2. Wise words, Heather! I love the term you used…confident expectancy in regards to hope. I think that applies to faith as well.

    Thanks for taking the time to share what God is teaching you!

  3. I’m shouting sister!

    by the way —-TAG YOU’RE IT!

    stop by my blog for the details.

    steph.

  4. Oh Heather…I dont’ think you know how much my heart needed to read this. I was just thinking about the “downness” in my soul right now. I am functioning and “doing my thing”, but deep inside, there is frustration and a “funk”. Thank you for this note! I have a few friends I may send this link too…I think they could use it as well. Thank you sister.

  5. Oh, Heather — I am just SO glad that I know you. I’m so glad that the Lord is using you in such powerful ways — and I’m so glad that you are LETTING Him do that!!

    You know that I am well versed in the “been in a funk” business — and I am also well versed in The Word being the best thing to grab you out of it. I am so thankful for you and for your heart for the Lord — especially when you share it so openly and enthusiastically with us.

    Hugs and love, sweetie.

  6. Loved the word roots! It brings so much more meaning to God’s word when you dig a little deeper into understanding it… thanks for sharing! The best way to get out of funkville – is definitely to shout to the Lord with a heart of thanksgiving and a voice full of praise! “Why are you disquieted, oh my soul? Hope thou in God!” Thanks for the reminder!!

  7. Such encouragement here today. I’ve been so busy this week, it feels as though God has been pushed to the back burner. It’s good to remember that He’s not moved, my inheritance is still the same. Still, I need to make some time to sit at His feet for a bit longer.

    Kate


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