229: Jesus Christ, Our Living Hope
Jesus Christ, our Living Hope
Every one of us struggles at times with discouragement, with concerns that might build to worry or anxiety. Add the world-wide crisis into the mix, challenges with health, money, politics, emotional and relational stress - it’s not surprising that doubts and strife in the mind abound among people. Despair and hopelessness are not uncommon to all of humanity, including us, the people of God. In those seasons of struggle, our hope seems to be quite inadequate and meager. This brief article is meant to encourage those of us who face moments of being downcast to fix our eyes upon Jesus.
Sometimes, it seems as though hope is just fading away. But the wonderful truth is that God has a remedy. That’s not unusual; He is the God of Hope! His remedy is unique and distinct. His Holy Spirit wants to flood our lives with hope. I’ve found that anchoring my hope correctly saves a lot of heartbreak and fills my life with such great joy. There is no greater hope than the everlasting hope found in our Lord Jesus Christ and sufficiency of His Word. Hope has a name, and it’s Jesus Christ.
Hope In The Person of Jesus
Peter says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3). Those who trust in Jesus are born into a new family, into a new kingdom, and a new life where the God of hope is involved. They are set free from living a life with hope placed in the world instead of Christ. They are a new creation, Christ is the gracious King, and God is their benevolent Father (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:1; Hebrews 4:14-16). All of these wonderful truths are anchored in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus, our living hope, is a person (1 Tim 1:1; John 20:26-28). All too often, we try to put our hope in things that the world offers: programs, steps, outlines, life hacks, coping strategies, therapies, philosophies, false religions. These all can deliver temporary hope but they leave us without satisfaction. Christians place their ultimate hope in a person we meet through humble repentance and faith. And, this person is unlike any other. He’s the preeminent one. He’s the exalted one. He’s the all-sufficient One. He is the glorious Christ!
Hope In Jesus’ Return
In Jesus we have a blessed hope; he will return. Paul describes Christians as “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). How amazing is it that this life is not all that we have? It is so easy to be so focused on day to day living that we forget that our Savior is coming to gather us to Himself. We will never be separated from Him or His holiness. We will spend eternity together.
How much smaller do some issues seem when compared to eternity? When we lose sight of eternity, we lose sight of what is important (2 Corinthians 4:16). When we lose sight of what's important, we chase after the temporary and cannot find satisfaction. We are left empty and hopeless. Instead, let us fix our hope in the love of Christ and the grace to be revealed when He returns (Ephesians 3:14-21; 1 Peter 1:13).
Hope: Christ In You
Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Our hope is not far off from us. Christ isn’t isolated from us. He’s right there in our lives. Because Jesus is always with us, and lives in us, we can be sure that he hears us when we pray. Jesus is intimately involved with us, everywhere, all the time (Ps 139:7-10). God isn’t simply with us, he is orchestrating our lives for good. God is right in the middle of it with us. Even in difficult circumstances we can have hope because God in His sovereignty has us right where he wants us to be. Whether it is to grow us in faith or draw us closer to Him, God has us where we are for a reason and he is sustaining us through each difficulty (Isaiah 41:10; Romans 5:1-5).
When we are encompassed and surrounded with pressure-filled circumstances, our temptation is to put our hope in changing the situation. We tell ourselves, “If only x were to happen, then life would be better.” Instead of focusing on our circumstances, we need to turn our eyes to the resurrected Christ. We find resurrected life in our resurrected Lord. Instead of trying harder and “pushing through”, we need to put our hope in Christ. That is what brings us living hope. There’s no situation so torturous, so impossible, so agonizing, so depleting of vitality, but what the Lord, who is risen from the dead, can share his resurrection life with us and see us through it, and if he so wills, even deliver us out of that situation. May you and I, today, find help, hope and comfort in Jesus Christ, our loving hope.
Are you tempted to place your hope in anything outside of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ?
What do you currently think will bring you joy and satisfaction?
How have things in your life shown to disappoint you when you’ve placed your hope in them?
How has Christ shown Himself to be an object of hope?
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