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Cheer up!

Read 1 Peter 1:3-5. It is good to begin the day praising God. This was the way Apostle Peter began his writing to the persecuted Christians in the first century. “Praising the Father.”

Let us ask ourselves today: Is this the characteristic of my Christian life and witness? Is this my response to the Gospel which is good news? Is this my actual experience today in our high tech, sophisticated society? In spite of the many awful things happening around us? Can I still sing praises to my Lord? Can I still sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see?” “How Great Thou Art.” Can I still sing, “Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice?”

We made a public declaration of our faith, when we believed the Christ of the cross and His resurrection. But what is the challenge of it all? Is there within us the attitude that was in the Apostle Peter’s heart and in the people to whom he wrote? Can we say like the apostle, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?” The apostle blessed God.

Why? Because verse 3b says “Through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.” Peter burst into this mighty adoration of praise. I want you to notice the line of thought Peter was telling us in v.3 “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Christ’s resurrection is the controlling principle. Apart from the resurrection there can be no lively hope. No Christianity and no life, but chaos. You cannot sing sincerely “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine…This is my story, this is my song.” But because Jesus rose again, we have a living blessed hope. Hallelujah what a Saviour.

It is the essential doctrine of the Christian faith. For without the resurrection our faith is in vain. Henry Morris wrote…”The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of Christianity. If the resurrection did not take place then Christianity is a false religion. Because it did take place then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.”

During the crucifixion Peter and the other apostles were utterly downcast, so discouraged, disappointed- as though Peter was saying to the other apostles- “let us go home and go fishing in the Sea of Galilee.” Peter felt that he must do something to relieve his tension and despair. You call him the Apostle of despair before the resurrection. What is it then that transformed him? He was transformed into an Apostle of Hope. You know why?

It was the resurrection!

Let us not be discouraged in times like this. If you look around you, you will be oppressed; if you look within you will be depressed, but if you look upwards to the heavens you will be blessed.

Your comfort, praise, enjoyment are all gifts of God’s grace. All by grace and by grace alone! Cheer up!

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