Webster defines the word “Hashtag” as -: a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet). Over the past month we have been walking through 1 Peter at our church. After reading and studying 1 Peter, I was led to name this study #LETTEROFHOPE. Hashtags enable people that use social media to classify or categorize what people are saying about the hashtag. In fact, you can go to your social media site (Facebook and Twitter) and search any particular #(hashtag) and you can see what others are saying about the topic. Several people in our church have used the hashtag #LETTEROFHOPE to convey what God has been saying to them through this study.

After unpacking 4 weeks of 1 Peter, #LETTEROFHOPE has come alive in my own heart. Actually, I told my wife yesterday that our study of 1 Peter has been the most exciting, most rewarding, most encouraging, and most challenging study I have ever untaken as a Pastor. I have discovered what true Hope looks like in the midst of Hard Times. I am excited about the Hope I have been given through the systematic study of 1 Peter. The Lord has encouraged me and challenged me at the same time.

People in our church are being transformed by the Word of God. Many are being equipped to deal with the Hard Times they experience. Several people have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and have began a journey of dependence upon Christ. Families have reconciled and marriages have been rescued. Young people have shared how God has spoken to their hearts and they are growing in their walk with the Lord. Several people have shared how God is speaking to them and leading them like never before.

Yesterday marked the 3 year anniversary that my mother in law, Dale Knight was killed in a tragic accident. I must confess that it was the darkest time of our lives. In fact, it was the hardest trial our family has every gone through and at the end of each March, we are reminded of those dark days. It’s easy to get in the “mullygrubbs” when we slow down and look back at our past hurts and how we have scars from the past. But as we have been looking at 1 Peter and the #LETTEROFHOPE that our Lord gave us through Peter many years ago, we find that blessed HOPE we need. Yesterday was a good day as our family spent it together, celebrating the life of my mother in law, my wife’s mom-best friend-baby sitter-shopping partner-sounding board, my children’s nana-gift giver-mentor and friend. Yesterday was better than last year and I’m confident it was better because of God’s #LETTEROFHOPE.

This weekend we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s Easter! As believers, we have something to celebrate! Jesus Christ is alive and we have HOPE! I pray you will find your way to a worship service this Sunday and worship our Living Lord in Spirit and in Truth. If you do not have a place where you regularly worship, be my guest at Fusion Church of Madison. We will continue walking through 1 Peter and look deep into God’s #LETTEROFHOPE!