Just Keep Swimming

By Jamie Harms

I am married to a scientist. This means I get to admire all kinds of charts and graphs on a regular basis. Sometimes my husband will invite me over to his computer, so I can “ooh and aah” over the smattering of dots with colorful lines going through them. It has become a joke between the two of us and a regular routine. However, along with charts and graphs, I do get to hear about some cool things happening in science. One such things was a study was done in 1957 by Dr. Curt Richter from Johns Hopkins University. He did experiments using rats and found out that if rats were put into water, they could swim for 15 minutes before they would drown. However, if the rats were rescued during those 15 minutes and put back into the water again, rats could swim up to three days before drowning. Some of the conclusions from this study were in regards to hope. If the rat had a hope of survival, it could swim almost three days waiting for rescue, but if it thought there was no chance of escape, it would drown in 15 minutes. It is no wonder then that Peter calls the church to remember the hope we have in Jesus in the face of our circumstances.

Peter knows that the people to which he writes in his book are in need of hope. They are faced or will soon face persecution under Roman rule and are scattered all around the world in places like Pontius, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bythinia. But, he wants them to know they have a rescuer, a rescuer who not only will be with them in their circumstances but one who is doing something greater. Each of them is being built into something bigger to proclaim His glory to the world (1 Peter 2) until He returns. However, to endure, they will need to cling to hope, a hope only found in the living Jesus.

You see, as Peter points out, we do not have a hope that is just a desire or left to chance our circumstances will change. We have something so much better. Peter says that in God’s great mercy, we have been born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade and is kept in heaven for us. Our hope does not come from desire or chance, but through a person, a person who loves us so much that He lived, died, and lives again. We can rejoice and have confidence that the hope we cling to is guaranteed because Jesus has proven Himself powerful even over death and He remains faithful. As we remember what Jesus has done through His Word and our own lives, we can live in confident expectation of what God has promised because of His power and faithfulness.

Just like the first century Christians, we are to remember that Christ has proven Himself worthy to be our hope, and we can trust Him that He will be with us, that we are part of something greater, and that what He promises us as His co-heirs will indeed happen because He is powerful and faithful. This indeed is a hope worth swimming for.

This week as you reflect on the hope that we have in Christ, take a moment to read Psalms 27, which we will take a closer look at next week.

— Jamie Harms