1 Peter 1:18-19 “You know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, not with things that pass away, such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like a lamb without blemish or spot.”
The celebrity world has been shocked recently with the deaths of fashion mogul, Kate Spade, and also celebrity chef and TV personality, Anthony Bourdain. Especially saddening is the fact that both of these individuals took their own lives. For regular people it is easy to look at such individuals and wonder how they could ever be unhappy. “Don’t they have everything?! Great wealth, prestige, rubbing shoulders with and influencing the movers and shakers of our society?! Why would they do that?!”
This puts things in perspective for us when we are tempted to think, “If only I had …” Even with more money, better looks, greater popularity, or anything else, people still find themselves to be completely miserable and hurting. The solution isn’t more stuff. A fulfilling and happy life does not depend on wealth or status. As we see with these celebrities and others, who appear to have it all, many still feel as if they have a completely empty life—that it is worthless and meaningless!
How sad this is! What a trap the devil lays for us, thinking that silver and gold, the things of this world—what the King James Version of the Bible labels as “Mammon”—will fulfill us! Turns out that even a wealth of worldly things will still leave people feeling empty, alone, and of little value.
Do not put your hope or your trust in stuff! Do not let your heart be carried away by the god of “Mammon”! Instead, take to heart the encouragement that Peter offers when he says: We were “redeemed from our empty way of life.” (1 Peter 1:18) God has ransomed us—bought us back—from our guilt, sin, and shame. God has intervened so that death and the devil no longer have any say or control over us!
God has come that we might find true fulfillment and find value in our lives. He fills us with something far more precious that any amount of gold or silver, or any other earthly thing. He fills us with His Love. It was Love for YOU that God the Son, Jesus Christ, sacrificed His own blood. Our Savior Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself upon the cross so that we might be filled with the peace of God! And because of this peace, we can have absolute confidence that God is at our side—He has promised to never “leave us or forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5). He reassures us that we are tremendously valuable and loved by Him!
As we face challenging times, when we feel down and are struggling, God has promised to be at our side. He invites us to cling to His love and to the promises that we find in His Word — the Bible, and in our Baptisms and as we receive the Lord’s Supper. In challenging and difficult times, He especially points us ahead to the promise of eternal life in Heaven that He has waiting for us!
Sadly, many people struggle with an “empty way of life.” Such a struggle even leads some to harm themselves. When we face such struggles in our lives, find comfort and refuge in knowing that through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection our lives are not empty or worthless. They are valuable and precious, filled with God’s Love—and will be, forever.