This is hope

Did hope sustain you through the lockdown and the ubiquitous masking? You knew they were temporary measures so you were able to endure. Imagine how you would have handled the inconveniences if you didn’t have that hope . . . if you believed you would be forever cut off from fellowship with friends and family and rarely seeing a smile. This reflection I posted in the middle of the pandemic highlights the eternal value of this crucial commodity.

This will all be over someday soon. Probably even this year we’ll be dining out in crowded restaurants, sans masks; gathering the whole extended family together for raucous reunions; and filling sports stadiums shoulder to shoulder, loudly cheering and booing unhindered by those hated cloth confinements. Can you see it? Picture yourself doing something you’ve longed to do but have been shut out of because of this pandemic.

That’s hope.

Another snow storm has knocked down power lines and you’re huddled under blankets by a few shrinking candles trying to stay warm. But you know that winter is transient and spring will come, and then the welcome warmth of summer. In just a few short months your backyard will be lush with flowers and foliage and you’ll be running around in shorts and flip-flops. So you persevere through the seasonal struggles.

That’s hope.

Nonsensical policies and dishonest politicians have you vexed and angry, and fearful about the future of our country and our freedoms. But flat-out lies and really dumb ideas cannot be sustained forever and will eventually unravel and be exposed by the light of truth, which cannot be destroyed or denied. Envision yourself in that future reality being vindicated and seeing sanity restored.

That’s hope.

Hope. It’s vital for victorious living, essential for enduring difficulties, and necessary for navigating through troubled and turbulent times. Is it not a loss of all hope that drives a person to suicide? Life without hope seems not worth living.

Hope sustains the suffering, the weary, the grieving, and all for whom life is more burdensome than blessed. Because hope is not a wish but an expectation. It is not, “This may not happen but I sure hope it does.” It is instead, “I am confident this will be the case, and until it is I hope and wait for it in expectation.”

The ultimate hope that undergirds and strengthens those who have it, protecting them from unyielding despair no matter what difficulties they experience in this life, is that of perfect joy and peace in the next. For all who put their faith and trust in God, the future is one of unyielding happiness in his presence forever.

We’re often advised not to live in the past, and that’s wise because the past will never again be the present. But the future someday will. 

Hope is living in your future present.

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:23-25

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.

Ephesians 1:17-18