Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1 Pet 1:13
Have you ever been disappointed that God did not do what you thought He promised to do? I can’t begin to count the number of prophetic words I have heard that never panned out. Or the number of people who made major life decisions based on prophetic words that later proved false. Some react by taking an extreme cessationist view. They begin to despise all prophecy in defiance of God’s word. 1 Thess 5:20-21 Others engage in cognitive dissonance. They deny the word was wrong believing that to do so would represent a lack of faith on their part. Still others rationalize by pointing to external circumstances or another person causing it’s manifest fulfillment to be delayed. This is also in defiance of scripture. Deut 18:22 Still others albeit fewer these days take a balanced, biblical view. 1 Cor 13:9-12
We prophecy in part…
Perhaps the biggest cause of failed prophecies is a misunderstanding and misapplication of hope.
You get the idea.
Most people in and of the world today view hope in the context of something they want to happen but may not. “I hope I find a spouse”. “I hope I get that job or that car.” I Hope Donald Trump gets re-elected.” But biblical hope is not a roll of the dice. Biblical hope is a guarantee. Paul calls it an anchor.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Heb 6:17-20
Hope is not “My desire be done in Jesus’ name”. Hope is God’s immutable word that His will shall be done. Isa 55:11 He will fulfill His eternal promises regardless of our circumstances here. That we live abased or we abound Phil 4:12 in this life is ancillary.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be grateful. Rather false hope breeds ingratitude and sometimes narcissism. If we think that God’s purpose and plan are to bless us with success, “nice things” and never-ending comfort while so many others suffer then our hope is in the flesh and we are soulish at best. That doesn’t mean we solve the problem by giving all our stuff away. It also doesn’t mean that we don’t. Mat 19: 21-30 The issue is; what hinders us? We may enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise every Sunday. Psalm 100:4 But do we understand what Paul means by the hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain?
Hope is prefaced by girding.
Both men and women in Peter’s day wore ankle-length robes. Hence they would gather the hem and fasten it to their waste with a belt. Girding applied if they were walking, working, or preparing for battle. We see a similar theme in Ephesians 6.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth… Eph 6:13-14
Loins refers to the generative, procreative part of the body. Peter is referring to the generative and procreative aspects of our minds. The mind is the seed bed of transformation. Rom 12:1-2
In the midst of our girding Peter exhorts us to be sober. Sober- nḗphō is one of my favorite words in the Bible. Sober means to abstain from wine, be discreet, watch, be calm and collected in spirit, be temperate, dispassionate, and circumspect. “Dispassionate” might sound counterintuitive in a faith stream that emphasizes joy. However, joy is chará – calm delight. Peace, patience, and self-control are fruits of the spirit that attend and complement joy. Gal 5:22 Dispassionate means our emotions take a back seat. We gird the loins of our minds by submitting and subjecting our feelings to His word until our minds are renewed. Any experience of genuine joy is contingent upon this renewal.
It is by a sober act of will that we STAND, not retreating or advancing as we resolve not to be conformed to this world and instead subject our entire being to His truth. Girding is preparation to persevere while our character is transformed. Character is the soil in which comprehension and assurance of the blessed hope grow.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Rom 5:1-5