With how the world spins things and things being turned inside out, with evil being called good and good evil, what hope does the Christian have?
The Christian experiences all sorts of hope-destroying situations each and every day — serious and difficult problems. We fail in our walk with Christ. We fail in our workplace. We fail in our marriages. We are depressed and sometimes even think this life isn’t worth it. What is there to live for? What is there to hope for?
Listen, beloved; let me make this very clear: Even though life seems out of tune from where we want it to be, we don’t lose hope, because we are in Christ Jesus. He is the Victor! He has conquered sin and death. He sits on His throne. He is sovereign. And we know that even though we will experience all sorts of disappointments in this life, there is a life coming that will have no disappointments. Eternal life awaits.
Knowing that that is the outcome, how do we find hope in the face of hopelessness? I assume that you are not surprised that God has the answer to this question. His Word gives us the assurance we need to live in hope. First, the Christian must be reminded of the results of his salvation, of what Jesus has accomplished and given to the repentant sinner. Jesus Christ, and only He, can forgive you, cleanse you, give you His grace, show you mercy, and, yes, even give you hope. In 1 Peter 1:3–5, the apostle outlines the results of salvation in our lives: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
These are encouraging verses when we think of the despair and hopelessness that are common in our daily lives. Peter tells us that all glory goes to God, who has “caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” He has stepped into our lives and given us a “living hope” based on what Jesus accomplished through His death, resurrection and ascension.
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Now did you notice that this “living hope” brings an inheritance — something that is yours because you are in Christ Jesus? Peter says this inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away. This is not like an earthly inheritance that will one day waste away. No, this inheritance will not perish or fade away. And here is the kicker: Your salvation will provide you this inheritance (which is reserved in heaven for you) based on the blood of Jesus, causing your name to be written in the Lamb’s book of life. Now, that is hope, a hope that doesn’t disappoint, because of the Author behind it. God guarantees it, because He has given you hope in Jesus. Beloved, that lifts our spirits. That gives us hope for today as well as for tomorrow.
But there is more. The passage goes on to say that this “living hope” is “protected by the power of God!” It has His stamp of approval and protection. Nothing can separate the Christian from it. Not even the world. Not even depression. Not even Satan. We have “living hope” because God is our Hope.
The Apostle Paul echoes these realities in 2 Corinthians 4:7–10, saying, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body,” the treasure, of course, being salvation in Jesus.
Paul states that though we might encounter various situations in life that bring us low, we are not crushed, despairing, forsaken, or destroyed. Why? Because you, Christian, are in Christ. He gives you His power to persevere and to long for that eternal inheritance that is coming, not yet, but soon. So, don’t lose hope. Instead, hope in Christ. He is not only the foundation of our hope and the future of our hope, but He is our hope. Look to Him. Look to His Word. Trust Him and follow only Him. Your hope is fixed.