In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead …
Somehow I grew up thinking that the world is an unfriendly place and that I wasn’t really safe. I remember a moment in school when a girl was making a point of letting me know that she didn’t like me and that I needed to be aware that other people didn’t like me too. I could remember feeling like the world kind of shifted at that point from light to darkness. Until then I had thought that people might have had their differences with me, but in the same way that I had tried to like everyone, I had expected everyone to like me. The realisation that people didn’t like me was soon followed by a realisation that people didn’t notice me. My family taught me that I would be less worried what people thought about me if \i just accepted that they really didn’t think about me much at all.
I had a hope that maybe someone special would single me out for unconditional love. I dated quite often as a search for hope. I would find someone who not only accepted me, but thought about me when I wasn’t around. In my wife I thought that I might have found such a person, but when infertility hit us I was not surprised, but I lost all hope when my wife disappeared inside her own grief and depression. My hopes for a romantic solution for the lack of unconditional acceptance, or the hopes of being the focal point of another disappeared.
Only through walking into the darkness of isolated depression and anxiety did I begin to see the light. With an eternal perspective there is hope. There is a hope that enables me to become the one who loves without conditions more frequently. There is a hope that enables me, on a good day, to give without expectations of reward. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Reflect upon the hymn and think how an eternal hope based in the one perfect human heals the hopeless condition that we fall into:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. Refrain: On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand. 2. When Darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) 3. His oath, his covenant, his blood supports me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) 4. When he shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in him be found! Dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!
May my hope be founded eternally in you. You are constant. You are eternally accepting of me with all my faults. You lead me on the path
to redemption. Let me follow faithfully.
- On what is Christian hope founded?
- How do others use the word ‘hope’?
- How is Jesus instrumental to lasting hope?
- On what do your friends and family rest their hopes?
- How can we live more hopeful lives?
A Christian’s hope is in no one or nothing other than Jesus Christ. Our loved ones will eventually hurt us, the world will betray us, and things will eventually fade away. He is the only perfect, loving, and just One that could offer us eternal hope.
People set their hope in many things: their spouse or relationship, their finances, their families, their material possessions, in doing humanitarian work, yet these will all fade with the day without Jesus Christ. Many people use the word hope for wishful thinking, but ‘hope’ is an eternal reality for those who are in Jesus Christ.
I find just rereading your post kindles my hope. Perhaps this hope should be part of our conversation more often.
This morning in the first conference session, a young Vietnamese woman came up to speak a little, after a video had been shown in which she shared some of her story. I think out of all the different things that took place in Torrey Gray that morning, her story and witness touched me the most.
Her mother had abandoned her. Her grandmother raised her and they lived in a poor family. Very tough financially… There was a church nearby that welcomed her and at a young age she became a Christian. Her grandmother was mean to her and did not like it that she went to church. Because of financial difficulties, she was sold to possibly four different men, starting age 12. She convinced her grandmother to let her start hair and nails school, so that she didn’t have to be a sex slave anymore. At age 14 she was working 12 hours a day, with only two days off per month!
The details are fuzzy to me, but her dad, who had been elsewhere, contacted her and I guess she was officially adopted. It appears her dad is a Christian. With the help of others, she started an organization to help women in sex trafficking, teaching them how to do hair and nails, etc.
It was a lesson for me to see her up on stage, joyous, speaking of the hope we have in Christ. She, as a Christian, was sexually abused, she prayed that God wouldn’t let this happen to her, but He did, and she’s still praising and serving Him. Wow.
Christian hope is founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ. We live in a world where hope is used in a wishing sort of way. I hope to do this, I hope to do that, you will find people including myself saying. Jesus is instrumental because he is a solid rock. He is always faithful and true no matter what is going on is our lives or in the world.
Most of my family rest on Christ and hope in Him. But some friends hope in money and technology. I just recently spoke to an old friend and told me that he is hoping in technology because it is getting better so the world will get better eventually. Renewing our minds with the word and focusing on Christ will help us live more hopeful lives. Understanding that apart from God we can do nothing and are nothing. Fellowship with other believers will encourage any Christian’s hope found in Christ.
Our hope is based on our new life through Christ’s death and resurrection. This is not just a wish or anxious hope, but rather a confident hope because it is not dependent on us or other people but on Christ. Christina is right; any person or thing apart from God in which we place our hope will disappoint us. We can have confidence in God because He is the epitome of love, grace, faithfulness, etc. Our hope is confident and sure, which is why it is so wonderful.