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Is There Any Hope In This World?

... What is hope? “The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or “to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence”.1 If this is true, then many people today are without hope. They look around them and have no feeling that things will work out for the best. They have nothing to look forward to in life. People who are without friends, have been divorced, have lost a loved one, lost a job, lost their savings, have serious illnesses—they may be hopeless. Should they be hopeless? What about you? Is there any hope?

Earthly Hope

... Many people put their expectations, their hopes, in earthly things. A solid education, a good job, close friends, a husband or wife, a house in a good neighborhood, a good run on the stock market, finishing a marathon, winning a contest—these are things that are “hoped for” to bring happiness. If such goals are reached, one has fulfilled a hope and may experience a measure of satisfaction. But does it last? And what if we try but fail—will we lose hope?

... King Solomon said, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12) This is true and you can probably identify with it. When your expectations were not met did you get a sick feeling in your gut? But when your hope is realized you feel like a million dollars. Hope is a wonderful thing.

... Hope can even get you through a tough time. “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a wounded spirit?” (Prov 18:14) If you’ve suffered a setback or illness, as long as you had something to look forward to, you felt you could make it through. Yet, if you had a “wounded spirit”, you had lost hope, doubtless it became a pitiful situation.

... Herein lies the problem with Earthly Hope—it is temporary. Every success, every friend, every dollar will fade away one day. In fact, they may already be over shadowed by social or world problems—economic crisis, political turmoil, neighborhood violence. Then what is there left to look forward to, what will sustain you in the difficult times? Is there a lasting hope?

Real Hope

... A real hope is one that lasts, it is permanent. Can there be such a hope? Yes, and we learn of it in the Bible. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 1:3) God offers a “living hope”, an expectation that will not die, and He proved it by raising Jesus from the dead. Living Jesus = living hope. What is the hope that Jesus brings? “To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (I Peter 1:4-5) Jesus offers an inheritance in Heaven that is permanent, incorruptible, and undefiled. No war, no sickness, no loss of friends, no layoff can damage this hope or take it away. It is “reserved in heaven” by the power of God.

... Let’s pause for a second and think, if you have the hope of Heaven, what earthly problem can keep you down? Getting into a car accident may wreck your day, but you know joy is waiting in Heaven. Having a fight with a boyfriend or girlfriend is a bummer, but you know there is only peace in Heaven. Having crime creep into your neighborhood is frightening, but you know your inheritance is secure in Heaven. You see, this world cannot offer a lasting hope, because it is tainted with sin and evil. No matter who you are, bad stuff happens to us all on Earth, so the wise thing to do is have our hope in Heaven and not on Earth.

Living With Real Hope

... Living with real hope means knowing that Earthly pains and setbacks do not mean life is over. Most of us are familiar with the verse, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) The writer could face anything, even death, because he knew God was with him. This hope is available today and it allows us to trust God to work things out, especially when they seem out of control. In fact, the Lord encourages us with the promise “that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

... For those who love God, St. Paul pronounced this blessing, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) God loves us, that is a reason to be hopeful! Also God, who has given us a good hope, will also establish us in every good work. When you are doing good according to God, it is easy to be hopeful.

How To Get Real Hope

... The inheritance we saw earlier is available for those “who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation”. Salvation simply means the “deliverance from the power and penalty of sin.”2 Remember, sin (disobedience to God) is what taints this world with evil and ruins the hopes of every man. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalty for our sins. We just have to ask for the payment to be applied to our sins. So then “the gospel of Christ…is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16) Put your faith in Jesus—trust Him with your life, receive His Salvation, and enjoy His eternal Hope!

1 hope. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hope (April 15, 2009)
2 salvation. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/salvation (April 15, 2009)

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