There’s a multi-million dollar industry in this country that thrives on the sale of motivational posters. They seem to be everywhere—the gym, the doctor’s office, the lunchroom at work, the board rooms of large and small businesses, and the locker rooms of amateur and professional sports teams. Poster topics include vision, commitment, attitude, perseverance, dedication, etc. They seem to be everywhere because everyone needs a little motivation now and then.
But did you realize there’s been a backlash against the idea that people can be genuinely inspired by a nice picture and a clever phrase hanging on the wall? In fact, you can go to Despair.com and find humorous parodies of these famous motivational posters. Their website says, “Our Demotivation posters will leave you feeling just as depressed as the most insipid motivational poster might, without first subjecting you to the indignity of misplaced hope!”
But in trying to combat what they call “the indignity of misplaced hope,” they have had to become completely cynical in the process. They’ve had to become silly, sarcastic, insulting, and totally fatalistic. Their website says, bluntly, “We’d like to invite you to skip the delusions, and head straight for the disappointment that follows!” So now they’re spreading what I would call “the indignity of no hope at all.”
But is that really the answer? Isn’t there a way to have real hope in this world, based upon something solid, without having to settle for a bunch of trite sayings on a poster? The Bible insists that there is. In fact, Peter—who once lost all hope because he had failed Christ miserably by denying him three times the night of his arrest—was still able to write about hope. For Peter, the resurrection of Christ changed everything.
In 1 Peter 1:3-7 the apostle gives us three solid reasons to rejoice and have hope:
Rejoice! Your PAST can be forgiven.
Rejoice! Your PRESENT can be handled.
Rejoice! Your FUTURE can be secured.
Peter’s message to the suffering Christians of the first century is a message for us today: The death of death in the resurrection of Christ means hope for life. Yes, life is hard, and everyone has to die; that’s just part of being human. But not everyone has to stay dead. Hallelujah!
“Because I live,” said Jesus, “you also shall live.” If you need a resurrection of hope this Easter, take a listen to this message.