Pastor Steve Ellison
Those in the social sciences tell us that hope truly is necessary to the human existence. We have all heard stories of people in dire circumstances that gave up and died when help was near because they believed that there was no hope. We have also heard of people in similar circumstances who endured until they were rescued simply because they had reason to hope. Hope is a necessary thing for humans. We give up quickly if there is no hope; we endure under torturous circumstances if we have hope. Hope is not blind faith. Hope is trusting in something in which we have reason to believe. The Bible has much to say about hope. In fact, Romans 15:13 states that our God is the God of hope so that we will abound in hope, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NASU) Jeremiah 14:8 and 17:13 names Jesus as the “Hope of Israel.” Psalm 39:7 and Psalm 71:5 tell us that our only hope is in God.
Ephesians 2:12 speaks of the blessed condition of Christians while bluntly reminding us of the tragic condition of the non-Christian, “Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (NASU) Having no hope and without God in the world are one and the same thing. Hope resides in the Christian. 1 Peter 3:15 states, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.” (NASU) Implicit in this verse is the idea that non-Christians ought to be able to recognize the hope that is in us. If no one is asking us about the hope that is in us, perhaps we should look into the mirror. Furthermore, we are commanded to be able to give an account for the hope that others recognize in us. We ought to be able to articulate reasons for our hope. Others will often accept or reject Christ based on our witness about Christ. Our witness should be in both word and deed.
1 Peter 1:3-5 tells us that our hope is a living hope, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (NASU) Jesus is our living hope and we trust that He will come for us in the last time.
1 John 3:2-3 tells us that our hope is that we one day we will be finally conformed to the image of Christ, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (NASU) It is truly a beautiful thought that one day every Christian will be like Christ. That is real true hope. ..……..…..firstname.lastname@example.org