When hope is snuffed out, even a Christian can lose the will to keep going. We’ve shared with you how we lost all hope in our marriage—and that led to a miserable existence. When there is no hope for change, no light that you can see at the end of the tunnel, the temptation is to shut off your heart and just exist in misery . . . or some choose to check out of life altogether, literally.
If “hope” is based on our circumstances, then it is a flimsy thing. It will waver like the wind, blowing here and there, on days when winds of adversity hit, we’ll be knocked to our faces and ready to give up . . . on days when blessings come on the wings of cool breezes, we’ll say that “All is right in the world . . .” That is not solid hope. That is not the hope of gospel reality. Today, I encourage you to evaluate your understanding of hope and find security in the hope that is the anchor in every storm.
The Secure Hope
The hope of the gospel is not a “hope” for something that may come, that you anticipate might happen, or that you’re looking to as a possible outcome, but the “living hope” that Jesus secured for us is our safety and assurance through every difficulty. Hebrews describes this hope as an anchor that has been tested through Jesus’ entrance in the holy of holies—where He paid our sin debt.
[box]“We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” (Hebrews 6:19).[/box]
Reframing Your Thinking
Last week we spent several days considering Jesus’ journey toward the cross. From the first hint of redemption in the first garden to the ultimate surrender in Gethsemane’s garden, I encourage you to let the wonder of His sacrifice capture your heart as we remember what He’s done for us. If you will reframe your thinking, and base your perspective for today, and for the future, on the work of the cross, your hope will become a certain confidence. Not a confidence in future events, but a confidence and assurance in the person of Christ.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who was slain to deliver us from the mess we made, to reverse the effects of the Fall. When we receive what He has done, we have the solid foundation of the living hope that He secured for us. As we function in life, and consistently walk in that hope, it shapes our reactions to adversity and our interactions with others. That living hope shapes us into living examples of His grace, filling the earth with His glory.
Take Time to Reflect
First Peter 1 gives a beautiful description of Jesus’ payment for us. Slowly read through these chunks of Scripture and pause to give thanks:
[box]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. (1 Peter 1:3–5)[/box]
Jesus set us free from bondage to the corruption produced by the Fall.
Do you know that you’ve truly been set free because of His blood that was shed for you?
Are you experiencing that “living hope?”
[box]If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:17–21)[/box]
Evaluate whether you are experiencing that “Living Hope” ~
Do you live in a way that honors the payment that was made for you? You’ve been purchased by the precious blood of Christ.
How does that truth impact you?
How does that living hope affect the way you respond to circumstances? How does it affect your outlook on life in general?
Is your faith and hope in God?
Have you been rescued, redeemed; “born again to a living hope”?
If you have experienced this, take time to write out a description of the way this occurred in your life, and leave it in the comment section below. Let’s spend some moments thanking Jesus for His work on the Cross.