Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hope or Hope?

Last Friday morning as I was getting ready for work I began pondering why it is that Christians can rejoice even in the midst of trials. I must admit, as a follower of Jesus Christ, this still amazes me but also reminds me of how great the God of the universe is. I know the reason for Christians great comfort in trials is the fact that God is sovereign and he does all things for our good (Romans 8:28). Even when we are not able to see everything going on we know we can trust God's character. I think these truths tie into the single word: hope. Christ is our hope. Let me see if I can explain what I mean by Christ is our hope.

In Scripture we read that salvation is a gift from God's grace accepted on the basis of faith. Faith is defined as "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Assurance and hope are rarely lumped together to make a promise. Assurance is a "promise or pledge; guaranty; surety" (Dictionary.com) and hope is "the feeling that what is wanted can be had" (Dictionary.com). One is objective while the other is subjective. Hope is the more prominent word used in our day and age. We tend to "hope" this or that may happen. Once we hope we wait to see if what we hope for will take place. But this kind of hope leaves no room for assurance.

The over-arching word, faith, seems so common today but most people have nothing to place their faith in rather they just have faith. Faith is basically the same word as hope these days. We now have the wrong definition of the word faith which is more of a feeling rather than a guarantee. But for Christians we have a guaranteed hope because of the object of our faith. Our faith is anchored in Christ.

"So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 6:17-20).

This is the only guaranteed hope there is in all the world. The hope of Jesus Christ as our great high priest. He is the unchangeable God who cannot lie therefore we can trust in his promises. His hope is a guaranteed hope so stop clinging to a false sense of security and find your refuge in Jesus Christ the one who paid the price for your sins upon the cross in his great love.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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