Sounds rather unreal and impossible.

We live in a world without hope in spite of all the promises by leaders and leading men. Hope? The whole structure of civilization shakes and the soul of man is filled with horror, when he reads his newspaper or listens to the radio. There is seemingly no end to the destruction caused by this second war now fought in every part of the world and in every sphere of life. Let us forget the years of peace, for they were nothing less but the preparation of another war, and prepare ourselves for the final catastrophe—the end of it all. Thus speaks the man of the world.

Calmly, as always, the Word speaks of hope.

Hope, because there is an inheritance promised and kept in store for you. No, you cannot see it now, but it will be revealed in the day of Jesus Christ, when He returns upon the clouds of heaven. This inheritance is the complete and perfect salvation, promised to those who are strangers and pilgrims in the world. And as pilgrims they cannot be without this hope as long as the battle continues, otherwise they also will be swept away by the winds and tempests that rise against them. Their way leads them through the midst of many enemies who try to seduce them from the life of their pilgrimage and thus deprive them of their hope.

Necessary and fitting also with a view to their present condition. Yes, they possess the life of hope, but they possess it only in principle. Besides, the stranger must pass through many fiery trials and is inclined to lose courage. Hence, the admonition is closely connected with the life of grace: hope to the end. Grace it is to hope, because hope is closely associated with faith. Faith, the gift of grace, is the clinging of the soul to the infallible truth of the Word of God. And hope is the expectation that all shall be accomplished. Hope therefore, is one of the fruits of faith.

Live the life of hope, that is, live the life of sanctification. When walking in the ways of darkness, the pilgrim cannot hope. He is not able to lay hold on eternal life, nor on the eternal promises. While marching onward the pilgrim must not forget it. There is an inheritance in store for him. And the object of his hope, is, of course, the end of that journey, for, at the end his salvation will be complete and his joy shall know no bounds.

However, the way to the end is difficult. Seemingly, while here, he is in the midst of all kinds of danger. There are many enemies and temptations manifold. Satan, the world and his own flesh form a strong league to give him battle. Does not the prince of darkness employ many means to draw him away from the object of his hope? Is not the world for evermore inviting him and extending its own joy in exchange of the promised salvation? His own flesh rather not fight and oppose the enemy, but drift along with the majority. He complains of his infirmities, his wavering and doubting. Shall he not give up?

Peter, as a matter of experience more than any of the other Apostles, knew about it and is capable to admonish. He knew about the sinful self-sufficiency, and, as a result, knew about wavering, fruit of his conceit resulting in disappointment.

Therefore, he exhorts: Hope to the end! Hope completely. Hope perfectly. He means to say: Let the life of faith be active. Exercise this hope. Let your soul and mind, your will and desires aspire to the full assurance and perfection of the hope. This is possible indeed, as an operation and fruit of the life of regeneration.

Regeneration, a beautiful word. It is a new life—a life of heaven and a life for heaven, a life for the present as well as for the future. That life longs for the end. Now the question may be asked: Does Peter mean to say, hope until you have reached the end, or, hope now perfectly, completely? The former is, of course, also necessary. No one of God’s children can do without it until the end is reached. Nevertheless, the emphasis must be placed on the latter: Hope now! To be fully assured and to be able to give battle, demands the completeness of the hope, that should be attained. Now. Be not double-hearted or double-minded. James admonishes, a double-hearted man is unstable in all of his ways. He is like a floundering ship without a rudder, hence, without direction, hence, without making progress.

Needless to say, that with this expectation in mind and soul, the affections must be turned away from all other things. It is impossible to look to heaven and the things of heaven and at the same time to desire and to seek the things here below. The pleasures of below do not coincide with the treasures above, for they stand diametrically opposed to each other.

A man cannot hope and look for the revelation of Jesus Christ and at the same time cling to the things of the earth. If his hope is fixed upon the things of the present, his hope is imperfect and shall perish ending in disappointment, because all that is of below shall come to an end and he will pass away with it. There can be only one object to hope for and that object is the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Head of His Church, bringing with him the fulfillment of all that is promised you. Also, with a view to that coming, the promised inheritance is safe now and shall be yours then. Christ and all his benefits shall be, at the same time, the revelation of the sons of God. This consideration, to be revealed with him, is full of comfort. At the present the children of God are strangers and pilgrims. They are the refuse of the world, an easy prey for the contempt of the enemy. As rubbish they are treated and it looks as though it will thus remain forever. They are put to scorn, when they testify concerning the things of the other world, of which they speak. Besides, although objectively the inheritance and complete salvation is in Christ Jesus, the Lord Himself is hidden and therefore despised in this world. Power and glory, so they confess, but this power and glory are not as yet seen.

Hope needs to be hope indeed. The pilgrim must be assured of the coming of the Lord. Let the fact of that coming live in your soul now, Peter and the saints are fully assured of it. You are not mistaken and therefore, do not hesitate to say: He shall be revealed! Boldness? Why no, if living by faith you cannot speak any other language.

Take hold of it!

Hope and live by and out of that one great fact. Be fully assured, stranger, that at the revelation of Jesus Christ you shall not be ashamed, when he shall appear in the fullness of the brightness of his glory. You will be publicly vindicated and even the wicked must acknowledge in that day, your Lord and you are glorious indeed.

Hope to the end or hope perfectly!

Hope for the revelation of Jesus Christ!

Hope, because grace shall be brought unto you.

The question is, what is that grace? (Some read instead of grace, joy). Does Peter mean to say: “You shall receive grace at the end?” That would make it rather difficult to understand and it is at the same time inconceivable. The question presents itself, if grace was to be brought to God’s child at the revelation of Jesus Christ, is the stranger without grace, while on his difficult journey? He finds himself in the midst of a sinful world surrounded by many enemies. Can he, without grace, fight the spiritual battle? All things are possible, but it is impossible for any man without grace to be a pilgrim and stranger in the earth. Just as impossible as to love the Lord. No one can see the Kingdom of God, unless God give him grace. Besides, Scripture tells us, “it is given you (by grace) not only to believe, but also to suffer for His sake.” Without it no one can nor will be a stranger and a pilgrim. He cannot believe in nor suffer for Christ’s sake, except when grace is given him.

Grace it is to believe, to suffer, to fight, to hope, to make sure of salvation, to be a light in the midst of darkness, in spite of all the miserable teachings of the free will of man (openly or otherwise). From our side, grace is unearned goodness and loving-kindness, ill-deserved, usward. Grace it is, when our sins are forgiven and the principle of the new life, given in regeneration is manifested in conversion. And without this grace it is impossible to hope, to hope to the end or to hope perfectly.

Grace however, is much more. From our point of view, as a personal experience, grace is first of all, the forgiveness of our sins. And this of necessity. I must know whether or not my sins are forgiven. If that knowledge is wanting, it will leave one without comfort, trust and hope. For without it, sin remains and sin that is not forgiven, means separation from the living God and there will be no peace. Take away sin and the relation between God and the sinner is restored. Hence, not at the end, but at the beginning of the journey the pilgrim received grace. And that grace at the beginning is sufficient to fight the battle, to belong to the party of the living God, to be children of light in the midst of darkness and corruption. That is God’s Word.

But that which is received in principle here, shall be completed and will be a finished product at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The same grace at the beginning and at the end.

Moreover, if we read Scripture carefully, we will find that grace is closely connected with glory. In fact, grace is the beginning of glory and when it shall (presently be completed it will reveal glory. We find it often difficult to distinguish between these two. They are inseparably connected, because when we speak of grace we speak at the same time of glory.

Hence, God’s glory is the fullest manifestation of His divine attribute of grace. Thus we somewhat approach the meaning of this word, although we cannot comprehend it, nor can we express it adequately, as to its deepest content.

Sufficient to say, the God of grace is the God of grace in and for His people. Thus, His grace is His beauty, His glory and it shall be yours in the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Hope than, have your eyes fixed upon that grace—perfectly.

This implies, that, while you are delivered from your sins in principle, you shall be delivered of the body of sin and of corruption completely. The Lord does not stop halfway, but shall finish His own work. After the end being reached, perfect beauty and glory shall be revealed in you and through you. For, while through death the soul is made glorious, at the revelation of Jesus Christ, both body and soul shall partake of it in the day of all glory.

Therefore, be sober and gird up the loins of your mind.

Be sober, or, watch, is the requisite while the pilgrim is on his journey. A man who is not sober, is first of all unable to discern between the true relations of life. He is not capable to distinguish between right and wrong, because he is like a drunken man who moves in an unreal world. Hence, he is not able to render good judgment. He may boast and speak much about his knowledge, his strength, but he is not living at the moment a real life. So it is with one who is spiritually drunk. He does not see the things as they truly are. Consequently, he is at a loss and cannot maintain himself in a crisis. Spiritual sobriety is indeed most necessary for the preservation of grace, that is, he must live out of the life of grace. The new life must be predominant, it must rule and guide him. It must be his criterion and with it he must turn to the Word of God and its promises. He must see and know more and more the true relation between the visible and invisible world, between the things of the earth and the things of heaven, his pilgrimage and the object of his hope. Therefore, he must know the relation between life and death, time and eternity and the ultimate purpose of it all. In pain and trouble, in time of peace and in the days of persecution he must evaluate all things with a view to the end. He must hope perfectly.

Girding the loins of the mind!

This figurative language refers to the loose robes that tangle a man’s feet. This, to the athletes of the arena, was such a bother that they laid aside their garments, in order that the race may be won. In order that the mind may be concentrated upon the goal set before him, the runner could not be troubled in any way by his robe.

The pilgrim must not be troubled by the things of this present world. How often are the trivialities of the present an insurmountable obstacle to him. He can worry and be troubled with the things that pass away. His mind becomes befuddled by what is really to his disadvantage.

Let your mind be willing to that it is called to do. Be not fooled by the things that are but for a moment. Distinguish and judge all things by the Word of God.

His promises are forever the same.

They shall be fulfilled to the full in the final promise: For the grace is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Hope perfectly!!