“You and I are unavoidably and irreducibly hope-based creatures. We are controlled not by how we live now, but by what we think will happen later. Christian hope has to do with the ultimate future, not the immediate.” – Tim Keller.
Hope is an elusive concept in today’s world. People have hope in all things, from winning the lottery to achieving real peace in their lives. Unfortunately, the chances of the former are very slim. It is a wish or longing for something better, something that is not guaranteed or will most likely never come to fruition. It is a wish, a wish for something better, something more.
Living hope is different. Living hope is a hope that is alive and present in our lives. It is a real hope that we can have faith in and trust in as we navigate life’s unknowns. The apostle Peter talks about a living hope ( 1 Peter 1:3). He’s talking about something much different than what we hope for today. He’s talking about a hope that is certain and secure, a hope that is based not on our actions or efforts but on the promises of God.
Peter dictated a letter to Christians in various regions of the Roman Empire. Christians who, like himself and his friends in Jerusalem, suffered because of their faith. By the time he’s writing this letter, he’s been arrested multiple times; he’s been living as a fugitive for years. Yet, even though he’s living on the run, he says, ” All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see” (1 Peter 1:4-5). Peter says that our hope is anchored to an event that rekindled his hope, the resurrection of Jesus.
Christian hope is a person, Jesus Christ. “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek…” (Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV).
Jesus is our “forerunner.” In the contemporary usage of the day, a “forerunner” was a scout, sometimes an advance guard of an army. When used as an adjective, it meant to rush forward with great speed. In effect, He became the path to God. Our faith is anchored in heaven because of Christ. Our hope lies in Christ; we are grounded in Christ. Edward Mote said it best when he wrote the following lyrics in 1834: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”
- What does living hope mean to you?
- What do people see in you that is a reflection of the hope you have in Jesus?