Every one hopes for something. Children hope that their parents would take care of them and buy them nice things. An employee hopes that he will get a raise at work, voters hope that the person they are voting into power will address their yearnings and the list goes on and on.
Hope is what drives mankind. It is an essential ingredient for man’s survival. A man without hope is a man paralyzed by fear. No matter how low a man’s estate, there is always some hope that tomorrow will bring good fortune.
In ordinary usage, hope means, ‘Something good that you want to happen in the future, or a confident feeling about what will happen in the future’. This shows that hope relates to the future – to something that has not happened but which we desire to happen.
The reality however is that there is no guaranty that what we desire to happen will actually happen. We experience it with politicians who promise the electorate what they would do when they get into office. People, who hope the promises will be kept, vote them in. In many cases, these promises are not kept which eventually leads to voters’ apathy because the voters have lost hope in the politicians.
Recently there was a lot of debate on pensions in the UK. Apparently, many who were looking forward to retiring on a nice pension pot, found their pensions have been eroded and some even lost value to almost as much as half their pensions. This led to a loss of hope in the pensions system.
The examples above, which is just a few of the cases of dashed hopes, brings to fore the reliance of man-made hope.
The good news is that there is a hope that is built to last. “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.” (Hebrews 6:18)
When Christians say we have ‘hope’, it is different from the ordinary usage of hope. It is not a desire that something should happen. On the contrary, it is the knowledge that it will happen. The assurance we have in the occurrence happening is based on the One who has made the promise.
God gave us a promise and followed it up with an oath. The nature of God makes it impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18) therefore, His promise would have been sufficient for us to rely on. He however follows this up with an oath. An oath is a promise that cannot be broken without consequence, because it is legally binding.
“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)
Peter encourages us to set our hope….when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. He did not say, ‘In case Christ is revealed’ or ‘because Christ may be revealed’. In his words, there is a definite assurance that the event of Christ’s appearing will surely happen.
Without our hope in God, we will be paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. Throughout the scriptures, we are encouraged to put our hope in God. He is the only one who can assure us of the future. The things we hope for here on earth is just the icing on the cake. Jesus promised us an eternity with Him (John 14:2) which he doubly assured with this statement, ‘If this were not so, would I have told you…’
As Christians, we have a hope built to last! It is not temporary but eternal. It is no wonder that our hope is always the focus of the enemy’s attack. He is not interested in taking our lives, as that would give him no satisfaction because as Paul the apostle declared, ‘Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.’ (2 Corinthians 5:8)
If only he can take away our hope, then he would have achieved a major victory. This underscores the importance of our hope in Christ!
We do not put our hope in promises made to us by another man because despite their best intentions, they may not be able to fulfill the promises they made. People who have trusted in their country's economies have seen how futile that is, in the wake of world economic recession in recent years.
We have a God whose words are Yes and Amen. With Him, nothing is impossible….except for one thing – it is impossible for Him to lie.
In Him, we have a hope that is built to last!
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org