Hope is a wonderful word which probably deserves far more attention than we give to it.
Hope tells our hearts there is something worth living for – there is something good ahead of us. Hope gives us the strength to press through challenging times, as it looks for better days ahead. Without hope, we are lost.
Wordly hope is something wished for, whereas biblical hope is rooted in the unshakeable goodness of God and his rock solid promises. God, not luck or ingenuity, is the source of our confidence.
Hope is a very fragile thing in today’s world. If you could bottle hope and sell it, you could make a fortune!
Without question, the Christian has a fantastic hope beyond the grave. We usually make the choice between heaven or hell the focus of our gospel preaching. Jesus, the Anointed One – on the other hand – didn’t talk much about the afterlife, being far more concerned to bring hope into the present. The truth is, those outside the church are more concerned about the here and now, than they are about life after death.
Consider Peter’s words to Cornelius’ household found in Acts 10:30: How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Or Jesus’ words in Luke 4:17-21:
…and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’
It seems to me that step one in disciple-making is about fixing people’s ‘today’ in the power of the Spirit. To do this, it is surely vital that we ourselves are filled with this glorious hope.
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. Romans 15:13