Humans need hope. Hope gets us up in the morning and motivates us to do any number of things in the day. Without it we are hopeless and eventually fall into despair. When we are down, a ray of hope can make all the difference. We are hopers, always looking forward to the next good thing – the holiday, even just the weekend; always looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, the dawn breaking over the horizon.
We know the world is not what it was meant to be. We know there is something wrong with the world – and with us. We feel it in our bones – and in our groans and sighs and longings. We long for a better world, a new world, a better us, a new us. We hope!
What would real hope be like? What would it look like?
It would be sure – solid, strong. Not just wishful thinking, perhaps, possibly or probably – but really and surely and certainly. It would have a basis, a foundation, a reason for it – a reason for believing in it. So many of our hopes are not like this – for jobs, for partners, for money, for success, even for the weather. We hope so but we can’t be sure about these things. But a real hope, a great hope would be rock-solid sure.
It would also be sensational. A real hope would be something really good, really worth looking forward to, not just another pair of socks for Christmas but something sensational, big, cosmic, breath-taking! At the same time, it would be intimate, comforting, loving and satisfying.
Finally, it would be ceaseless. It would be long-lasting and ideally everlasting. It would never end and it would somehow overcome death, that great enemy, that last enemy – normally, the end of all our hopes, the great swallower of life and hope and everything good.
This is the hope we have in Jesus Christ! It is sure, sensational and ceaseless.
‘Faith (in Jesus) is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’ (Hebrews 11:1, the Bible). It has a basis, a foundation – the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He has ‘destroyed death’ (2 Timothy 1:10, the Bible) so that ‘anyone who believes in me (Jesus) will live even though he (first) dies’ (John 11:25, the Bible). It is eternal life and we already have a taste of it in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:14, the Bible).
It is sensational hope. ‘We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth’ (2 Peter 3:13, the Bible), ‘the home of justice and right’ and a place where there is no more sin, sorrow, suffering and even death (Revelation 21:4, the Bible). It is the world we all want, it will be completely satisfying and ‘God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’ (Revelation 7:16,17, the Bible).
Finally, it will be ceaseless, everlasting. Now we say, ‘all good things must come to an end’. Then, in that new world, all good things will last forever as death is swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54, the Bible).
This is a hope worth having, a hope that will impact your everyday life with strength and joy – and it is promised to all who put their hope in Jesus, in his death and resurrection for forgiveness and eternal life.
Want to know more? Just ask – or come into the church, every Sunday at 10.30 am, everyone welcome.
A very happy – and hopeful – Easter to you!