In my first two posts on hope, I introduced this description:
Hope is going somewhere good, by the work of Jesus and for the glory of Jesus.
It does not go without saying that Jesus is the one whose work produces real hope. We need to say – again and again – that hope comes from Jesus. That’s what this post is about.
The wonderful hope of every Christian is ‘through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’ (1 Peter 1:3). This hope becomes public ‘at the revelation of Jesus Christ’ (1 Peter 1:7). Hope is of Jesus from start to end. Believers do not create our own hope, but we set our hope completely on Jesus’ return and unveiling (1 Peter 1:13).
This hope is absolutely unlike all other hopes in our world.
The football team hopes to win: their hope looks like training, strategy and years of effort. The movie director hopes for an Academy Award: her hope looks like obsessive attention to detail and passionate communication of vision. The student hopes to graduate: his hope looks like study, assignments and exams.
Any hope in this world depends upon human achievement. And therefore is exceptionally flimsy. Only one team wins the grand final. Most movies bomb. No student ever achieved 100% in every assignment of every course. Human hopes are often seen, justifiably, as close to dreams.
But Christian hope is different because gospel hope comes from Jesus.
Jesus has done it: death is defeated, sin’s sting is gone, the believer’s future is guaranteed. (See my first post.)
Therefore Christian hope has confidence and assurance. Our hope is already safe, so our hope is justified. Jesus is alive, so to trust his hope is right. Jesus guards our hope in heaven, so Christian hope is realism not escapism.
They say that receiving a terminal diagnosis concentrates the mind. That makes sense! “I will die soon – what should I make of my remaining time?”
Hope is just like that, but 100% good. Because of Jesus, every Christian has an ‘eternal life’ diagnosis. It should remove all fear and doubt. “I will live forever by the work of Christ – how assured I am!”
The next post:
Hope for the sake of Jesus