For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Rom.8:24-25)
Most people I have ever known want to believe that there is hope to be found in the situations that life can throw at us. Hopelessness frightens us, filling us with discouragement and despair. We feel as though we can endure almost any circumstance imaginable so long as we have hope that it will come to an end or that it will prove worthwhile to go through such. When you take away hope, you rob many of the will to go on. We know that hope is powerful and that hopelessness is crippling. When you look around at the world in which we live, you see a world consumed by greed, hatred, selfishness, vice, corruption, ungodliness, and every wicked imaginable (and some unimaginable), and we are left to wonder if there is any hope for man in a place such as this. This is the effect of sin in a world without Jesus. If you were to ask me to describe sin with all of its resultant consequences, I would use the word hopeless. Man apart from Jesus Christ is without God and without hope in this world (Eph.2:12). Thankfully, hope is not lost. While sin robs man of innocence, joy, fellowship, and hope, what was lost can be regained through Jesus Christ. Sin alienates (Isa.59:1-2); Christ reconciles (2 Cor.5:19). Sin humiliates (Gen.2:25; 3:7-8); Jesus takes away the shame (Heb.12:2). Sin devastates (Rom.6:23; James 1:13-15); the Savior pieces us back together, giving us new life (Luke 4:18; John 3:16). Sin leaves us helpless and hopeless; Jesus reaches out his saving hand and restores hope. Prior to sin in our lives, we had hope, but sin took that hope away and hope died. Peter reminds us that in Christ Jesus we have been born again unto a living hope (1 Pet.1:3) because of his resurrection from the dead. Jesus is our hope (1 Tim.1:1). He is the hope of glory within us (Col.1:27). Because he conquered sin and the grave, we have hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2). This hope so permeates our lives that others will see it in us and want to know more about it (1 Pet.3:15). Hope is powerful. We have seen the power of hope within those who thought they had a reason to live and fight. Take away a person’s hope, and you essentially take away their life. God knows the power of hope and that is why he renews our hope in Jesus Christ. The hope of salvation through the blood of Jesus is so powerful it will save the soul (Rom.8:24). The desire to be freed from sin and to live eternally in heaven coupled with the expectation of receiving these promises constitutes Biblical, saving hope. This hope is anchored in heaven (Heb.6:18). It is so sure and steadfast that this hope will help us weather the storms and trials of life. We must hold onto this hope, firm unto the end (Heb.3:6). Hope is such a powerful motivator that it is listed alongside faith and love as the transcendent qualities of true Christianity (1 Cor.13:12). However, there is coming a time when faith will be lost in sight and hope will be lost in fruition. When we are welcomed into the joy of eternal day, our expectation will become a reality. Hope will have helped to lead us home to heaven. There we will meet the one who renewed our hope, who made life worth the living, and who makes eternal life a reality!
“Heavenly Father, thank you for renewing our hope through Jesus. Thank you for taking away shame, guilt, fear, and dread by the blood of Jesus and his triumph over death. Thank you for filling us with the desire and expectation of eternal life. Help us to live in that hope so that we can die in hope. Through Jesus we pray. Amen.”