A Sober Mind and Hope
Faith, hope, and love. These are eternal and essential for human flourishing, the abundant life God has for us. Without any of these and life becomes dreary quickly. Faith is belief in specific promises and love is how we live. But hope sustains us when we can’t see any answers. We need hope when we don’t even know what promises of God to hold on to. Remembering God can do something and that He has promised good to those who earnestly seek Him. Hope keeps us breathing through the darkness.
Here Peter reminds us that our hope is in God’s grace. His love and mercy move our Lord to act beneficently toward His children. The most difficult moments we struggle holding our faith are those deep valleys that seem to last too long. This is where we need hope. We don’t even know what to ask for and we can’t see anything God could do, but our hope reminds us that in ways higher than ours, He will act on our behalf. Hope pulls us through.
But also in these darkest of times, temptation lies in wait to beat us over the head and drag us away from the Lord. In the same valleys where we need hope, there is another shadow that is temptation lurking and luring us from the hope we have in Christ. Temptation promises relief from the dark while pulling us into greater darkness.
Temptation is always carnal relief. It is something to make us feel better in the moment. Temptation seeks to steal our hope from God and place it in alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, gambling, and we could go on and on. All of these elicit chemicals in the brain that intoxicate us pushing us out of the sound mind God has given us through His Holy Spirit.
Peter alerts us to the battle for our own sobriety when all Hell has broken loose. Temptation will steal us away from the Lord, but also from hope. In those times of weakness, if we do not stay spiritually lucid, we will be engulfed in darker darkness making it all the more difficult to find hope again. Therefore, his call is to resist anything that floods our mind with thoughts of euphoric escape so we can firm up our grip on the hope we need. And God promises that our hope will never be disappointed.
Prayer: Lord, in my darkness, help me to fill myself with the Spirit and not get drunk on any carnal pleasure. Amen.