Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3 NIV)
In order to get a better a understanding of what Peter was saying, the entire chapter needs to be read, but this verse–should trigger thanksgiving for all who have been “born again.”
Being born again of the spirit cannot be equated with a natural birth as Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus. When Nicodemus approached Jesus for clarification, Jesus explained to him that man must be born “naturally” through the water (amniotic fluid, not water baptism) and “spiritually”.
All of us are born naturally into a state of sin due to man’s severed relationship with God in the Garden of Eden, but we all have an opportunity to be born again of the “Spirit” of Jesus Christ when we accept the work on the cross and live according to God’s Word. The opportunity for restored relationship with God has been rectified with His resurrection!
Being born again is not a “feeling”; it is an active phase of living–according to God’s purposes and plans. Too many people are caught up in the emotional aspects of “feelings” (crying, feeling shame, etc.) and not enough are lifted by His love, understanding His mercy and loving Him enough to live for Him.
If Peter could encourage those who suffered persecution by those who crucified Jesus and sought to kill them (and they did with the exception of John), how much more should these words encourage us to “praise God” anyway?
Whatever we’re going through in life–the good, the bad, and the ugly–we should be able to praise God for His mercy and love. If He had not loved us enough to die for us, where would we be right now? If we want to have the promise of eternal life fulfilled, we must be born again and live to His glory while we yet have a chance.
Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to lift our heads and our eyes and our hands in praise of You. Give us a song of praise that will see us through whatever hardships we incur, looking forward to being brought out from the depths of misery to the glorious bountiful blessings we know You have planned for us. Our hope is entirely in You and we are indeed looking forward to eternity with You. For any who have not experienced Your love and mercy, open a pathway for them to hear the Good News and to be born again of Your Spirit.