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 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct. (1 Peter 1:13–15—NKJV)

The King James Version reads “hope to the end” where the New King James states “rest your hope fully.” Both translations capture the concept admirably. Hope that is full is hope that endures to the end.

So many hopes in life can be dashed, be crushed, dim, and turn out to be wishful thinking based on the shifting sands of the ever changing desert of a fallen life. Couple this with self-delusion and it is no wonder that depression looms large in our society. This failure to raise our eyes above the vagaries of human nature and condition has led to our phrase, “I certainly hope so.”

Our passage is one of three in 1 Peter that speaks of the deliberate nature of the committed Christian life. The others are 4:7, “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers;” and 5:8–9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

Our text teaches to prepare your mind for the serious work of living a holy life (holiness is possessing all virtues and having no vice). In biblical times people would prepare to work by physically tying up their long, flowing, outer garments with a type of belt so that it would not impede their progress at their task. It was used of soldiers, workmen, pilgrims, runners, and wrestlers; all of whom are emblematic of the Christian life. A parallel phrase for us would be “brace for action!” Believers need to maintain active minds in the pursuit of godliness.

Sobriety is spiritual restraint of regenerated, calm, temperate, and circumspect thinking. This is the common term found in 1 Peter 4:7 and 5:8–9. Worry, fear, and unbelief in God’s Word will distort spiritually sober thinking. Seriousness about your spiritual state of affairs and faithfulness about the consistency of your faith is demanded of every saint. It is a foundational requirement before cherishing any hope both now and in eternity.

The believer’s hope is to rest fully upon the grace of God. The Greek word is teleios, meaning perfectly, completely—a state of completeness. Peter uses it to describe the kind of hope available to enduring believers. It is a hope that is complete, lacking nothing and lends itself to the character of an assured expectation because God is able. There is no room for doubt or despondency in this kind of hope, even in the severest of trials.

Such a complete hope is assured through the grace (God’s bearing of Himself to His child with favor) through the work of His precious Son. This grace is “being brought” (as the Greek words portray—“being carried”) even at this present moment. Though full reception is yet future at the coming of the Lord for His church, it is already on its way. Kenneth Wuest puts it in the terms of a full dinner being placed before you and, while you dine, you know that a sumptuous dessert is on its way, making your meal complete. I believe this sense is what is expressed in the King James Version rendered as “hope to the end.”

R. Euthin Kenascue said, “If you endure and do right through every problem in life, you enrich things that matter on the other side.” This principle is true on the other side of every vicissitude of life, and on the other side of eternity. Are you born again through the blood of Jesus Christ, and are you cultivating and cherishing your spiritual hope in its fullest? Trust and obey.