Why we must have hope

mystery

As the gravity of his medical condition settled on the elderly man, his eyes filled with tears. He softly murmured, “That’s a death sentence.”  It was a moment that stabbed my own heart with pain. The rest of that story is a shift in hope, a reminder of that our lives all have an ending here on earth, but … in Christ, we find eternal life.

Shaken by yet another encounter with mortality, I thought long and hard about my own way of life. Am I prepared for the inevitable? Will I grow old and bitter, or keep hope as vitality declines? Is my hope in Christ strong today, shaping my thoughts, words, and actions; laying a solid foundation for days to come? Hope is such a critical part of our lives, isn’t it?

People who are able to cope with the up’s and down’s of our existence, who can bounce back from disappointment, pick up the pieces when things get broken are those with hope. I am not talking about that goofy, out of touch choice to avoid reality, to live without responsibility. Hope is not sustained by escaping from life, dancing and singing as if tomorrow never comes. Real hope is gained from faith, where God’s promise is matched to our need. Paul was inspired to urge us to let the profound hope of the coming Kingdom change us from the inside out! “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14, NIV)

Christians have a Blessed Hope!  We rest in the promise that Christ will come and bring His reign to set things right. The Mystery of His return is written through the Scripture, a time when wrong is made right, when justice comes, when those who have served find their reward.  I confess that at times life gets so full of urgent demands I lose sight of that promise. When I do, I also tend to lose hope.  The joy of serving is lost to the drudgery of duty in those days. It becomes more appealing to conclude, ‘Why even attempt to do right? What’s the use? Go with the flow.”  But, then I remember, the plan of God includes an appearing of the One I love and when He comes, there will  be the Great Reversal – the weak made strong, the oppressed made free, the power of death broken.  Those who have lived in hope will hear the commendation – “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:23, NIV)  Ah, what a moment!  No wonder Paul calls it the ‘Blessed Hope.’

Defeat despair with God’s words. Meditate on them.  “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (Revelation 21:3-6, NIV)

Hope, we cannot truly live without it. On whom, in what have you set your hope?

__________

Mystery

Sweet Jesus Christ my sanity
Sweet Jesus Christ my clarity

Bread of heaven broken for me
Cup of Salvation held out to drink
Jesus mystery

Christ has died and
Christ is risen
Christ will come again

Celebrate His death and rising
Lift your eyes proclaim His coming
Celebrate His death and rising
Lift your eyes lift your eyes

Sweet Jesus Christ my sanity

Charlie Hall © 2008 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Why we must have hope

  1. Sara Smith

    Hi pastor My sisterMelissas husband is 67 and is in St Francis hospital in Hartford Ct . He has two cancers, spinal stenosis and has cellulitis in his elbow. Thanks for the Word today. I am praying also for my dear sister . They are a very close couple.

  2. Gloria Vetrano

    Hope fro Christans is a NOUN, not a Verb! Amen!

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