In the past several years I've had many opportunities to speak with people from various backgrounds and walks of life. It's becoming easier to discern the difference between those who are filled with hope and those who are not. When a person has hope it can be seen in several ways. There is most often a noticeable difference in the eyes and smiles of a hope filled person, and usually the overall tone of our conversations are covered in a peace from above no matter the topic. Since hope and joy go hand in hand, a personmay not necessarily be happy at every moment. The smile of a wise saint may reveal a joy that is held at much more greater depth along side of hope within thehuman heart. When truly understood and grasped, these virtues cannot be penetrated by the superficial aspects we often encounter on a daily basis.
Do YOU have hope? What is it and how do we hold fast to this particular virtue? There are countless references found in God's Holy Word, the Bible, when seeking to gain a better understanding of what it means to have hope. It helps put things into proper perspective when we truly begin to understand that when we are without Christ we're without any hope whatsoever.
...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12)
We may THINK that we have hope before we are saved but in all actuality it is a credulous, false hopefulness.
But what exactly are we hoping for? Do we really want more than meets the eye; more than what we have found in this present earth? Sadly throughout time there have been countless individuals who have come to the end of their lives in total disparity after placing ALL of their hope falsely in what this world has to offer. Could it be they were horribly missing the promises that only the Lord Jesus Christ offers to us all?
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.(Job 7:6)
Job noted how swiftly the days were passing him by and that they also come to a speedy end without hope. If we are inclining our ears unto wisdom, we would all have to agree that the statements above are true. But what exactly is hope and what does it mean to have hope? The definition of hope in any dictionary means to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
What is the sure foundation for true hope?
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. (Ephesians 1:18)
There is a whole lot MORE to our lives than meets the naked eye, so much that we are unable to comprehend the unseen when it's left to our unregenerate minds alone to conclude. In fact, it is an impossibility. Our hearts need to be quickened and enlightened in order to receive the hope in Christ.
As we go about our everyday lives, it's usually the norm to be met with one trial after another. Some of us encounter the reality and finality that death brings sooner than others, and it's a fact that as grown adults we will all have to face this enemy at some point in time, albeit our own deaths or that of our family members or close friends. It's impossible to live without hope, and the hope that I am alluding to can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord 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. (I Peter 1:3)
...we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us. (Hebrews 6:18–19)
So you see, the hope that we receive in and from Christ takes our focus away from what we place our trust in on this present earth, and helps us to see with a new vision as it sets our feet upon higher ground. These present lives and the lessons we learn while we are here are but a small foretaste of what is only right around the corner for all of us. Heaven is the abode where the King of Kings residesand he wants to reconcile a relationship with us. He is in the business of making everything new. He recreates and renews not only our lives but the earth itselfwill be renewed. Everything we have been surrounded with from childhood, the trees, plants, the brook by the glen, though marred by our sin, will be a part of the new creation in the times ahead.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Do you believe this? Take a firm hold upon what Christ has to offer you. He will be your source of hope each and every day. The plans that He has for you and I are for a future and a hope, and not to harm us. As you begin your days, remember Romans 15:13. If you are taking notes, jot this verse down in your journal. May it be planted deep within your heart today and in the days ahead.....
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.