“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
(On Christ the Solid Rock)
The ancient Greeks had two kinds of stories: comedy and tragedy. A comedy was fun, but it wasn’t real. A tragedy was real but not fun. If you took a hard look at life, it was sad. If you chose to ignore life, then it was funny. Their philosophy mirrored their plays. Stoic philosophers sought to be mortal in a meaningless world. Life was a tragedy. They toughed it out. Epicureans just had fun; life was a comedy. They coined the phrase, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”
Nowhere in ancient Greek philosophy is the idea of “hope” highlighted. The word “hope” in ordinary English vocabulary is generally distinguished from certainty. One might say, “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I hope it happens.”
When one reads the word “hope” in the Bible hope is not wishful thinking. It’s not “I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I hope it happens.” Christian hope is when God has promised that something is going to happen and we put our trust in that promise. Christian hope is a confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass (Hebrews 11:1).
As I am nearing the end of yet another chapter in my life I stand at the crossroads and wait. Reflecting on where I’ve come from and thinking forward to the possibilities up ahead…I wonder. Knowing, full well, that my journey will soon continue…I rest. Peering upon the beautiful horizon…I remember that if my future is not secure and satisfied by God then anxiety inevitably set in. This restlessness will result in either a paralyzing fear or a self-managed, greedy control. I am prone to wander. I often end up thinking about myself, my future, my problems and my potential, and it keeps me from loving.
Hope is the birthplace of self-sacrificing love. When we allow God to take care of us and aren’t preoccupied with having to work to take care of ourselves we are freed up to love others. We are able to say, “Lord, I just want to be there for other people tomorrow, because you are going to be there for me.”
If we don’t have the hope that Christ is for us then we will be engaged in self-preservation and self-enhancement. But if we let ourselves be taken care of by God for the future then we can be free to love others. Then God’s glory will shine more clearly, because that’s how he becomes visible. When God satisfies us so deeply that we’re free to love other people then he becomes more manifest.
The following is my prayer for us: May we look beyond the circumstances that confront us, may we look to the promises of Christ and may we hold fast to them.
As I have been preparing for the Hebrews through Revelation class I plan to take this upcoming semester I have noticed a consistent theme in each of the assigned books: “Hope comes from the promises of God rooted in the work of Christ.”
The most important story that the Bible tells is the story of God’s plan of redemption as it unfolded progressively through history…
- The book of Hebrews reveals how the story of atonement reached its final fulfillment in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
- The book of James reveals how the Believer’s life is to reflect their faith and Jesus Christ.
- The book of 1 Peter reveals how the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the basis for a Believer’s new life.
- The book of 2 Peter reveals how God, through his grace in Jesus Christ, has granted to Believer’s the privilege of the divine nature.
- The books of 1, 2 and 3 John reveals how faith in Jesus Christ results in forgiveness of sins, eternal life, confidence in prayer, protection from the evil one, and understanding and knowing the true God.
- The book of Jude reveals how God grants mercy to those who are called in Jesus Christ.
- The book of Revelation affirms that Jesus Christ’s triumph is a certainty because he has already won the decisive victory over the Enemy through his sacrificial death.
As I continue to comb through the Scriptures it becomes increasingly clear that hope is more than a concept. Hope is a person. Hope is our Savior. Hope is Jesus Christ.
” … 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