Are you holding onto a real hope?
I am going to confess something: for the longest time, I did not really understand the true meaning of hope in the life of a disciple.
I put my faith in Christ, but I didn’t understand that the word hope now had a new meaning – things had radically changed in my life because the power of the resurrected Christ now lived in me. I could walk in a new confidence because of Him, but I didn’t fully comprehend that at first.
You see, hope for the Christ follower is not wishful thinking that something might happen. Hope is a “confident expectation and assurance” that what God says in His Word is true.
This world offers us little certainty that anything is true or sure. But our God stands firm. His “Yes” is always and forever “Yes.”
As a believer, our hope is rooted in the past, endures in the present, and is fixed forward on our eternal glory in the future:
Hope Past: Our hope is rooted in the finished work of Christ on the cross to pay for our sins. Because of Him, we have peace with God. Our life now has purpose.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:1-5, ESV).
Hope Present: Our hope endures because Christ is alive. He overcame sin and death through His resurrection. He has saved us from our eternal death and given us life abundant. He is refining and strengthening our faith as we steadfastly walk forward in faith in this broken world.
“ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (I Peter 1:3-9).
Hope Future: Our hope is fixed forward on the glory to come when Christ returns and sets all things right once and for all. We will see Him face to face in eternity, and sin will be no more. In the meantime, we surrender our all to live for Him.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure” (I John 3:1-3).
The writer of Hebrews tells us that “hope is the anchor of the soul.” Let’s continue to hold fast to Him, sisters. He is forever Lord of the wind and waves. The best is yet to come.
Lyli Dunbar loves teaching. For 17 years, she mentored teenagers in the Christian school setting, and now she has serves as Associate Director of Curriculum at Trinity International University Florida. Lyli married her Prince Charming in her 40’s and has a heart for encouraging young couples and singles in God’s waiting room. She enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women throh Bible study, and reading way too many books. Lyli writes about life lessons and faith on herpersonal blog. You may also connect with her on Facebook,Twitter, and Pinterest.
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