Monday, August 09, 2010

Real Hope for Real Life

Hope for hope’s sake is no hope at all. Do you ever hope for hope’s sake? Do you ever find yourself offering reassurance hoping that everything will somehow work out in the end? Your intentions are good; you just don’t have any basis for your faith. Sometimes we say these things because we don’t have anything else to say and we don’t want there to be empty air in a moment that seems really important. Hope, though, must be anchored to something real and powerful if it is going to bring true comfort.

Peter says in his New Testament letter of 1 Peter that Jesus Christ has lived, died and been resurrected so that He may give His followers a living hope. What is living hope you may ask? Well, Peter uses this phrase to help us see that God is actively at work in the lives of everyone that loves Him. It is not hope that simply points back to a time when one’s relationship with Jesus Christ began. It is not hope that simply points forward to a time when Jesus will return or a Christian dies and goes to Heaven. Living hope certainly includes those moments, but it includes much more. Living hope is the promise that God is aware of every aspect of the Christian’s life and, even more, is actively at work in every one of those aspects. God cares for those that love Him and follow Him.

The basis of this living hope is not just a hope that God is in Heaven looking down. No, it is wrapped in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are important facts. Jesus’ life stands as a substitute for His followers. Though we disobey and rebel, Jesus has lived perfectly and God allows His perfection to substitute for our disobedience when we follow Him. Jesus’ death stands as a substitute as well. The Bible says the punishment for our rebellion against God is death. But the Bible also says that Jesus died as a substitute for all those that will follow Him. Followers of Jesus can have the assurance of life now and forever with Christ because He died as our substitute. The resurrection of Jesus is significant because it shows the power of God to make these promises true. Through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead God proved that all things are indeed possible with Him.

While this is a short and basic explanation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ it is a basis for real hope. Hope must be rooted in something real and powerful if it is to offer hope at all. This hope is not a magic formula for your life. A life of real hope calls for commitment to Christ, seeking repentance of your sin, and a new life empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. But it is a life of hope. Powerful hope that is anchored to a real Savior.

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