A Living Hope

We all need hope.  If you are sick, you need hope that you will get well.  If you have a bad relationship with someone, you have hope that it will improve.  If you don’t have a job, you hope that you will find a job.  If you don’t have the money to buy what you need, you hope that you will have the money.  Hope and faith are related.  Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  One has faith in a favorable outcome in the future, and therefore develops hope for that outcome.  When one does not have hope, then he has despair which may result in a sense of failure, depression, giving up and no longer trying.    

People without Christ have no hope after this life.  Ephesians 2:12 “That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”  But now you have a hope in a glorious inheritance.  Ephesians 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

Sometimes a person might have hope in some favorable outcome, but then events do not turn out like he had hoped and his hope is destroyed.  For example, the disciples of Jesus thought that He was going to establish an earthly kingdom for Israel.  When Jesus died, that hope was destroyed.  In the book of Luke, we are told about two individuals who were walking to Emmaus from Jerusalem when Jesus joined them; they were kept from recognizing Him.  Luke 24:19-21a “And He said to them, ‘What things?’  So they said to Him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.  But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.”  Jesus went on to explain to them that their hope was not destroyed, but misplaced. 

Your hope as a Christian is not a dead or empty hope.  It is a sure thing; it is a living hope.  1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  The power of God stands behind your hope to make it a sure, living hope.  The assurance of your hope was given by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

As a Christian, your hope is an anchor of your soul.  Hebrews 6:18-19b “That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.  This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”  Just as an anchor holds a ship sure and steadfast from being blown away by strong winds, even so, your hope holds you sure and steadfast when the troubles, trials and tribulations of life might blow you away from Christ.  Your hope in the promises of God saves you from despair, from depression and from giving up on your Christian life. 

Just as your hope is an anchor in your life, your hope saves you.  Romans 8:23-25 “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”  Your hope saves you in the sense that it keeps you from giving up when things get rough.  It causes you to eagerly wait for your hope with perseverance.  It motivates you to purify yourself.  1 John 3:2-3 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

My encouragement to you is to have your hope as an anchor of your soul.  Let it cause you to remain faithful and true.  Hebrews 10:23-24 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”  Your faith should cause you to be diligent so that you will have full assurance of your hope.  Hebrews 6:11-12 “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”  Don’t give up your faith.  Colossians 1:23 “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”  Be grounded and steadfast as you wait for your blessed hope.

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