“We need a living hope to get through life and endure suffering. A living hope enables us to have both sorrow and joy. Our living hope is an inheritance achieved for us by Christ.” – Tim Keller.
Someone once said, that “what oxygen is for the lungs, hope is for the meaning of human life.” As living beings, we are wholly dependent on a supply of oxygen, and we are also dependent on its supply of hope. Yet today hope can seem like a rare or short-lived commodity. Peter, who himself was given to despair during the episode of Calvary, writes in a triumphant note, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” ( 1 Peter 1:3).
As followers of Jesus, we have hope. There is hope that mistakes and sins can be forgiven. There is hope that we can have joy in the midst of all the turmoil around us. There is“the blessed hope” that Jesus will return. Our hope is not in our own ability, in our goodness, or in our physical strength. We have hope because of the resurrection of Christ. Jesus not only came to bring hope. He is our hope. But all too often, we try to put our hope in things that the world offers: programs, steps, outlines, philosophies, etc. The hope found in these things is typically short-lived.
In the Bible, however, we never read of hope in that way. It’s not wishy-washy. Instead, hope is a confident belief and expectation in the truths and promises of God. Hope always has a positive connotation in scripture. The bottom line is if our hope is based on God and what He says, then it is no longer wishful thinking, but a firm expectation.
But placing your hope in Jesus is so different because of who He is. Jesus is the Son of God. He is the Christ, the Messiah, Immanuel, God with us. The living God. Our Savior. Our shepherd. Our counselor. Our comforter. Our healer. Our hope. Our very life. Throughout the Biblical narrative, God also weaves the promise and appearance of a Savior. Jesus came to bring us hope: “And in another place Isaiah said, “The heir to David’s throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him” (Romans 15:12). Matthew 12:21 says, “And his name will be the hope of all the world.”
We have hope for the future that we will be redeemed. We have hope for the present that we are not alone, but are loved and have a purpose. And we have hope even over the past that our failures are not greater than God’s power to transform. Our hope is certain. Our hope for forgiveness, reconciliation with God, and a perfect, holy, eternal life, rests on the finished work of Jesus.
The world lacks hope. Human beings are clamoring to fill their empty lives with stuff. Abuse, addiction, illness, and broken relationships surround us. People need to know that Jesus came to bring hope, that He is our hope, and that our hope is alive.
- Hope is essential. Agree or disagree and why?
- Hope is only found in Jesus Christ. What does that mean for our lives today?