The dictionary defines HOPE as, (1) “a cherished desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment; (2) to long for, with an expectation of obtainment.” Notice that there is a big difference between hope and “wishful thinking.”
Hope is an important part of our lives. The word “hopeless” is one of the saddest words in the English language, when it is applied to a person or to a situation.
Of course, Christmas time, at least for the kids, is all about hoping, about looking forward to receiving something wonderful that they have anticipated and dreamed of [e.g. a new dress, a special toy, a new red bicycle, etc.]. But what are the kinds of things that we big people hope for? What are the things to which most of us look forward with expectation?
- To go to a “good” college
- To land a high-paying secure job/career
- To marry the woman/man of our dreams
- To have wonderful healthy children
- To buy that first house
- To get raises, have an excellent salary
- To retire early so that we can travel
- To live “happily ever after”
- We hope and trust in His love and mercy. — Psalm 33:18-22, “But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in You.”
- We hope and trust in His promises. — Psalm 119:74, 81, “May those who fear You rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in Your word… My soul faints with longing for Your salvation, but I have put my hope in Your word.”
- We hope and trust in the Holy Scriptures. — Romans 15:4, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
- We hope and trust in His calling of us to Himself. — Ephesians 1:18, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.”
In I Thessalonians 5:8 HOPE is likened to a Helmet to protect our minds: “But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
Moreover, in Hebrews 6:18-19, HOPE is described as an Anchor to protect our souls: “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
But what are the specific things we are trusting in God for? What are the objects of our hope?
- We hope in God for our resurrection from the dead. I Peter 1:3 says, “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.”
- We hope in God for eternal life. Colossians 1:3-6 declares, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints-- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in Heaven and that you have already heard about in the Word of Truth, the Gospel that has come to you.”
- We hope in God for His promised blessings. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is in the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
So, the question that remains is, “Do you have the Son?” In other words, do you really know Jesus? All the blessings that God wants to pour out on your life, and the things you want and need—the peace, and joy, and hope, and Heaven—these are all wrapped up in Jesus. The one who has the Son, has it all. When you have Jesus you get the rest as well!
I entitled this message, “The HOPE of all who seek Him.” The shepherds of Bethlehem left their flocks and went to seek Him, and they found Him, and the Bible says that they “…went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” The Wise Men left their own land to seek Him, and they found Him, and they fell down and worshiped Him. If you are seeking Him today, really seeking Him with your whole heart, you will find that He is right here, just waiting for you to call out to Him and ask Him to come in to your life to be your Savior and Lord.