Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5 NKJV)
I’m not sure about everyone else but I’ve had many hopes in my life. Some, such as a wonderful wife and loving family, have come true. Others, like a recording contract, haven’t been so successful. Living in this world we hope for this and that and sometimes enjoy experiencing our hope come true. But, in this world, hope can often disappoint.
Thankfully, there is a hope which never disappoints. It’s a hope for eternal life and salvation from our sins. It’s a hope that everything will work out for good in the end. It’s a hope we cannot see but are assured will come to pass.
There’s something unique about not seeing our future hope as children of God. That simple invisible attribute of hope makes it more real. Paul writes to the Romans about this, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Romans 8:24-25 NKJV)
If we can see and touch something, we hope for, it isn’t hope, it’s more like desire. I go to the Apple store (no disparaging remarks please) and see some newfangled updated gadget and hope I can buy it someday. This is a common mistake when we talk about hope. True hope is a desire for something we can neither touch nor see. It’s beyond our capabilities to make it happen. Hope involves something outside our capabilities, something dependent on someone else, something we can’t manipulate or control.
Thus we hope for what we can’t see. But hope can provide us strength for today and eternity. Writing again to the Romans, Paul reminds us that God is the source of our hope and hope brings good results. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NKJV)
Our ultimate hope is based on the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross to redeem us from sin and allow us to approach the throne of God cleansed and justified. “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27 NKJV)
One of my favorite authors writes . . .
When we are trapped in a tunnel of misery,
hope points to the light at the end.
When we are overworked and exhausted,
hope gives us fresh energy.
When we are discouraged,
hope lifts our spirits.
When we are tempted to quit,
hope keeps us going.
When we lose our way and confusion blurs the destination,
hope dulls the edge of panic.
When we struggle with a crippling disease or a lingering illness,
hope helps us persevere beyond the pain.
When we fear the worst,
hope brings reminders that God is still in control.
When we must endure the consequences of bad decisions,
hope fuels our recovery.
When we find ourselves unemployed,
hope tells us we still have a future.
When we are forced to sit back and wait,
hope gives us the patience to trust.
When we feel rejected and abandoned,
hope reminds us we’re not alone . . . we’ll make it.
When we say our final farewell to someone we love,
hope in the life beyond gets us through our grief.
— Charles Swindol (Hope Again)
Peter points us to Christ when he writes, “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:20-21 NKJV)
Enjoy the hope God provides. Don’t wait for eternity to begin, hope begins now.