Our Hope

Have you ever heard the phrase - "Don't get your hopes up." This negative vibe surrounding one's future expectations can be found many places and one place is the movies. In the movie "Shawshank Redemption", the character named Red says, "Hope is a dangerous thing, my friend, it can kill a man...". Red's friend Andy replies, "Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things. And good things never die."

The dictionary defines hope as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. So hope here is pictured as a feeling of relying on chance for a certain outcome. However, hope as more than a feeling has been brought to the world and given to the world, as a gift, through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit. All the work of securing humanity's salvation and multitude of promises has been completed through Jesus Christ. 

Jesus sealed everyone's spiritual, physical and mental salvation, empowerment and glorification after He rose from the dead and sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within believers. If Christ would have visited us the first time and done everything He did but only died and not not rise from death, Hades and the grave - then Jesus would merely be a great prophet or teacher and still be in the ground dead. 

However, Jesus did not just live an exemplary life for us and die a martyr's death. If He had done only this we would be living for just a good cause and not The Good Shepherd. The Good News is not complete without sharing Christ Jesus rose from death and the grave after the third day from purchasing everyone's relationship gap with Father God through His death on The Cross. The Lord of all Glory has risen and is everyone's "living hope".

Peter said it nicely when he stated -"In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Peter 1:3)

Many times a hope-filled spark in one's life is needed to establish a different perspective worth holding onto. Jesus did that for all humanity over two thousand years ago. Father God has loved the world so much that He gave His only Son - Jesus Christ - that whosoever would believe in Him would be saved. (John 3:16) I have chosen to accept and believe in His compassionate gift of grace. 

Hope, for the believer in Christ then is not just some wish or whim on some haphazard expectation. This hope is not fleeting or temporary. As the song proclaims, "My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness" (On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand). The Christian's Hope is based on a solid track record of a plethora of biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled especially those concerning The Savior - Christ Jesus. Christians have a track record of faithfulness by God to the great witnesses of our faith and all other believers willing to die for their testimony. Nobody would suffer and die like so many Christians have over the years if they thought their faith was a lie or even a half-truth. So, since Scripture is accurate on Christ's first visitation then we can have great hope about His next coming. Peter says it like this -

"Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming." (1 Peter 1:13)

Paul wrote to Titus and called the next appearing of Christ - "the blessed hope" (Titus 2:13).

When our last breath escapes our lungs and we no longer are part of this world, The Gavel falls in judgment on - What have you done with Jesus in your life? For those who have rejected the free gift of Salvation through Christ for their lives there is no hope, only damnation to eternal separation from God. 

Paul mentions those who do not have Christ in their lives, have no hope at all. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 he stated, "...so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope -".  I have seen stickers that portray peace this way that could easily display hope the same way - "No Jesus, no hope. Know Jesus, know hope." Isaiah is another that describes the finality of the lost - "...those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your [God's] faithfulness." Isaiah 38:18

For those that have chosen Christ and His lifestyle - eternity blesses them with ruling and reigning with Christ, being married to Christ, having a new name, living in a new body, in a new city, on a new Earth, in a new Heaven without any sin, curse or pain. The decision for either of these locations and experiences is now - "I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2) 

My Faith is wrapped up in a person. My Hope is consumed by a person. My Love is eternally secure through a person. My Faith, my Hope, my Love is all absorbed into one person - The Word of God made flesh, my Savior and Friend, Christ Jesus. I encourage you to set your hope upon His promises, set your great expectation upon Him, Christ Jesus - Our Hope.