Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

The True Message of Hope

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 18, 2009


If I asked you what you think “hope” means, I’d probably get the dictionary definition:

Hope – the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

To look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.

It would be used in a sentence like, “I hope for an early spring.”

The problem with this definition is that while it may work for general issues, it is not a biblical definition of hope.

Our definition of hope is circumstantially influenced.  We actually look at hope with a sense of doubt.  For example, in the sentence above, “I hope  for an early spring”, you see that in the mind of the person, they know the reality is that they have no control over it and that they may not see an early spring. 

This kind of hope is not very secure.  Would the person hoping for the early spring plan for it? Would they set dates for cookouts in March? Would they plant their garden in February in Indiana? Or would they wait until it happened to plan their cookouts?

Biblical hope functions differently.  When you see Paul say, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1), you see that Jesus is the hope.  It is a type of faith that has assurance. 

Later Paul tells Titus,

“We wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13)

We see that Jesus is the hope, and his return is the manifestation of that hope.  There are no doubts that he might not return.  Hope is the embodiment of assurance.

Peter breaks this down even more:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. – 1 Peter 1:3-12

This hope Peter calls “Living” actually kept people going through tough times.  The hope they had that they knew their eternity was secure. 

  • It was the hope of an eternity with Jesus that kept them in peace when thrown to lions.
  • It was the hope of an eternity with Jesus that inspired them to ask God to forgive their killers
  • It was the hope of an eternity with Jesus that strengthened their resolve to meet together even when they knew doing so might mean their death.
  • It was the hope of an eternity with Jesus that gave them all the strength they needed.
  • And it was this hope that Paul says, “and now these three remain- faith, hope and love” .  (1 Corinthians 13)

We know how faith and love are eternal factors in our relationship with Christ they are the elements that get us there, but now you know that it is the hope of glory that will sustain you through the journey. It is hope that will keep you going when all seems lost. It is hope that will give you comfort and strength.

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