Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)
We want it. We need it. We crave it. It stimulates our courage, supports our perseverance, and strengthens our resolve. It gets us up early, keeps us up late, and propels us through the difficult and trying times of life. What is “it”? HOPE. And where do we get this hope? We don’t get it in our passions or our possessions; real hope–true, lasting hope–is only found in a Person, and His name is Jesus Christ. Hope that is strong, sturdy, satisfying, and sustainable is found in the person of Jesus. This vertical hope is the only hope that will never falter, never fade, and never fail us.
When we put our hope in anything smaller than Jesus, it never satisfies, because every horizontal hope has been soiled and stunted by sin. Horizontal hopes are fragile and fleeting and cannot bear the weight of satisfying the deep longings of the soul. Only Jesus can do that, because He is above and beyond this sin-stained world. His sinless life, sacrificial death, and supernatural resurrection from the grave guarantees the fulfillment of every hope we have. Because we have been united to Jesus by faith, we no longer need to look for hope in any other person, place, or thing.
Paul put it this way:
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope . . . (1 Timothy 1:1)
We wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
Paul understood that the only hope that would help him rise above the waves of challenge and carry him through the storms of life is found in Jesus. The One who is Hope filled Paul’s life with hope, which empowered Paul to fight the good fight of faith, finish his race, and ultimately keep his faith.
Can the same be said about you and me today? It can be, and it will be, when our hope is not simply in Jesus, but is Jesus Himself. It is the difference between having hope in Jesus and Jesus being our only Hope. As hope-shaped creatures, we must look to nothing smaller than our Creator as the one true source of hope. He will never leave us hopeless.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!