More than Wishful Thinking

Photo Credit: pol sifter via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: pol sifter via Compfight cc

Hope is a powerful word. When you hear stories of people who made it through terrible trials, you often hear them say that they had hope or that they tried to not lose hope. It’s one of the words that helped propel President Obama to win his election. It’s also a very important word in the pages of scripture. It is a word that is supposed to describe God’s people, but what is it?

Much like faith, we use the word hope frequently and to some extent have missed the deeper meaning of the word. Especially in the case of hope, we often tend to water down the word so that when we see it in scripture it doesn’t have the power that it ought to have. If you’re like me most of the time, most of the time that you hear the word hope it’s wishful thinking, something that you would like to come to pass but it may not happen. Hope in scripture has a different meaning. It’s not wishful thinking. It’s confidence.

Paul writes in Titus 3:4-7, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

This passage ends by saying that we live with the hope of eternal life. This isn’t just wishful thinking or dreaming for what’s to come. This hope make us different. It’s confidence in Jesus’ reign and salvation now. It’s confidence in eternity.

We should also see that the next verse isn’t, “and because we have this hope of eternal life, stay safe, avoid the world, and wait for Jesus to come back.” Instead, Paul says that this is a trustworthy statement and we need to continue to devote ourselves to doing good. Hope in eternal life shapes our life now. Our confidence doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be concerned about this life or this world. Instead, what we see throughout scripture is that hope changes us and should cause us to work to make the world a better place. We know that there is something better. Let’s show the world what the better life looks like now. We have a living hope, a confidence in Jesus, and he is reigning now.

Because of Christ, we have the most powerful hope in the world. We ought to be people who live in the world hopefully because we know that Jesus is the one in charge and will make all things new in the end.

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