According to God’s great mercy, every born again person has been called to a living hope through the resurrection of Christ from the dead (1 peter 1:3). Christians (those who are born again) live hopefully because we anticipate an inheritance that this is inviolable, eternal, and ready to be revealed in the last time (1: 4-5). This hope is not just an assurance of a better future; it is also a present reality that is culminated in our final salvation. Thus this hope is both a present and future reality. The future reality of hope is the basis of the present reality of hope, which shapes how we live in the hic et nunc (here and now). According to Peter, those who model appropriate behavior are characterized as hoping in God (3:5). This hope in God distinguishes us from non-Christians’ values and way of life, and may be a cause of affliction, conflicts and even alienation (1:6; 4:1-4). On the other hand, this hope is the cause of confident joy that impels us to live faithfully (1:6). Peter describes Christian joy as inexpressible and full of glory (1:8). That is to say believers are already experiencing eschatological joy, the goal of their salvation (1:9). Future hope, thus, impacts the present. This is more incredible against the backdrop of suffering. Peter’s first readers experienced unspeakable joy while they were grieved with various trials (1:6). Moreover, their joy persisted and remained intensive even though they had never seen Jesus (1:8). In other words, they remained joyfully content even though they had no hard evidence that would confirm the basis of their joy. It is not seeing but believing that sustains our future hope, which transforms the present, resulting in joy. Thus, Christian hope centered on the person of Jesus Christ makes all the difference between the believer and unbeliever (4:1-4).
Notwithstanding our present situation, whether it is marked by suffering, hardship or alienation, Christians joyfully await the consummation of their hope at parousia (the revelation of Christ at the second coming). Therefore, difficult experiences in the present, though trying, cannot ultimately hurt us. To the contrary, trials, afflictions, hardships, which tend to grieve us, become means of improving and increasing our hope of glory at the revelation of Christ (1:7) and, thus, sustaining our joy in the present. Our model is Christ whose suffering resulted in future glories (1:11). Likewise, if we participate in the suffering of Christ at the present time, this will result in future glory (4:12-13). As Paul also wrote, If we suffer with him we will also be glorified with him (Ro. 8:17). However, looking at the end from the beginning, it is the confident hope of glory that enables us to participate in the suffering of Christ. This confident hope encourages us to faithfulness in anticipation of the unveiling of Christ. Thus, to those who suffer on account of Christ, this suffering is redemptive and will result in praise to the glory of Christ. Every born again person is called to a Christ centered living hope, which is a fundamental characteristic of the Christian life (1 Cor. 13:13). Let us, therefore, keep hoping and promoting hope in each other, ”for hope does not disappoint us for the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Ro. 5: 4-5 NKJV). Moreover, a Christ-centered living hope is the basis of our joy in the here and now.