Monday, February 1, 2016

Hope or No Hope

The word “hope” appears often in Scripture. Sometimes it is used as a verb and sometimes as a noun. When used as a noun, it refers to things believers already have: “a hope of righteousness” (Gal. 5:5); “the hope of the gospel” (Col. 1:23); “the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27); “the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8). Examples of hope used as a verb include, “I hope to come to you” (2 John 12); “first to hope in Christ” (Eph. 1:12); “hopes all things” (1 Cor. 13:7); God is called “the God of hope” (Rom. 15:13).

It seems obvious that the basis of hope for the redeemed is found in God’s Word. Because of God’s great mercy he has “caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Christ: (1 Peter 1:3). His resurrection from the dead illustrates that we too will one day be raised from the dead. This does not mean we should not sorrow because of physical death. But it does mean there is hope beyond the grave. Physical death for the believers means they have “fallen asleep in Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:14). All the unsaved “have no hope” whatsoever(1 Thess. 4:13).

Let’s think together about how God’s grace was totally sufficient for the apostle Paul as he suffered many hardships for the cause of Christ. He prayed and asked God three times to deliver him from his trials. We do not know all the specifics about his sufferings, but we do know how he responded to his trials and troubles. He found God’s grace totally sufficient for his needs (1 Cor. 12:9-10). That same God has promised to meet all our needs, especially when we seem to have lost all HOPE.