Have you ever watched a movie and thought you knew how it was going to end, only to be proven wrong after a major plot twist? The stories in our lives are often very similar. Jesus’ resurrection brought the biggest and best plot twist ever, and because of it, we get to experience a different ending to the story. As you read over 1 Peter 1:3 today, think about all the ways that God has brought living hope into some unexpected situations in your life. Pray through this verse and ask the Lord to help you remember His living hope in every chapter of your life no matter what comes your way.
We all know what it’s like for a dream to die. When hope dies, it dies hard. There’s no pain like the death of hope because in that moment there’s nothing left. The silence after the death of a dream is defeating and seems deafening. Life will scream at you that it’s the end of the story. When we read Psalm 30:5b, we are reminded that joy comes in the morning! Joy is Jesus being resurrected to remind us that death doesn’t win! Take some time today to write down a list of things that you are worried about. Surrender those items in prayer and at the bottom of the list, write, “This is not how my story ends!”
Life is a wild ride, and sometimes the only thing we can hold onto during the ride is our faith in Christ. Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us that the Lord our God is living among us, delighting in us, calming our fears, and rejoicing over us. Soak in that reminder as you walk out your faith this week. Is there someone in your circle of influence that also needs to be reminded that they have a loving Savior who delights in them, calms their fear, and rejoices over them? Say a prayer for them and make a plan to start the conversation with them of God’s great love at some point this week or weekend.
Every day we get to choose whether we walk in peace or distress. Colossians 1:19-20 reminds us that God made peace with everything by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. The power of the cross has the ability to touch every part of our life if we allow it to. Is there a situation in your life where you need to make peace with someone? Is there someone in your life that you can inspire towards hope and peace? Take a few moments to pray for those situations. Allow the peace of Christ to fuel you as you take steps to reflect that same peace in your everyday moments.
As we reflect on Easter, we realize it’s all about the unexpected resurrection. No one was expecting Jesus to rise. The disciples weren’t waiting—no one was. Still, God used Easter as a platform to say, “I’m not done. In fact, I’ve only just begun!” What are you expecting from God as you walk into this weekend? As you embrace the hope of Easter and the faithfulness of God, read over Ephesians 3:20 and think about some things you are expecting from Him in your everyday life or current life situation. Pray with gratitude for God’s great love and express those expectations to Him, placing your trust in Him.
TALK IT OVER
- How did you celebrate Easter this year?
- What is your favorite childhood memory of Easter?
- What Easter traditions do you currently observe?
- What meaning do those Easter traditions hold for you?
- Did you hear anything in the message that inspired you? (Explain.)
- What are you hopeful for this year?
- How do you typically handle situations that don’t turn out the way you thought they would?
- What are some other promises Jesus has made that you know you can count on?
- How can you embrace the resurrection of Christ in your everyday life?