HOPE

by Kevin Rutherford

 

Hope is defined as ďto want or wish for something with a feeling of confident expectation (Websterís).ĒHope can motivate, encourage, strengthen, and save.There is no greater book of hope than the Bible.The theme of the Bible is hope.The thrust and purpose of the Bible is hope.God gives hope to all of those who will hear and obey Him.

Hope is a powerful motivating factor in the life of the Christian.Paul said we are not ashamed because of our hope (Romans 5:5), we are saved by hope (Romans 8:24), we rejoice in hope (Romans 12:12), and he referred to God as the God of Hope (Romans 15:13).

Our God is the God of hope because He has given us hope in death. What is it that men fear the most?Do not most men fear death more than almost anything else?Why do men fear death?For some, it is because they have no hope beyond death.The atheist believes death is the end and nothing exists beyond death.Surely the fool has said in heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1). The unbeliever must soldier on with a stiff upper lip, boldly facing a great nothingness.The skeptic must wonder, doubt, and fear.However, the Christian is different.He is able to face death with hope.He knows that he has hope of the great resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:19ff).Death is not the end.Someday death will be defeated.Someday death will be no more for the faithful Christian.

Our God is the God of hope because He has given us hope in death and life.We have hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2).That eternal life shall actually be conferred upon faithful Christians in heaven (Colossian 1:5).This is our hope. This is our joy.This is our peace.This is our contentment.This hope that we have of eternal life in heaven anchors the soul in this difficult life (Hebrews 6:19).

We have hope.The God of hope has given us hope for the last day.The final day of judgment shall come someday upon an unsuspecting world. Christians donít have to face that day without hope.Christians can face that day with the hope of receiving Godís grace in the judgment (1 Peter 1:13).Let us hold fast to our faith and confidence to the very end (Hebrews 3:6).

Christians have hope in life, hope in death, and hope in the judgment. How does this, the greatest of hope, translate into our daily living?With that hope ever in our hearts we are less likely to complain, we are generally happy, we are generally more optimistic, we more content, and we are more at peace than the rest of the world.Life can be tedious.Life can be difficult.Life can be painful.If this were all there was how miserable we would be!But it isnít.There is something better.We have hope of that which we confidently expect to receive.Donít give up hope!