All that may be needed for some is a little nudge to get back on track. On the other hand, at the other end of the spectrum, some may require an all-out rupturing of the heart and soul. The Christian world needs to be shaken up and turned on its head.
I mean it.
As I have meditated, pondered, and considered the significance of our hope in Christ these many months, I am certain that many of us have either misplaced our hope, forgotten our hope, divided our hope, misappropriated our hope, lost or given up our hope, self-determined our hope, or even misunderstood our hope in Christ.
In my New Testament study of hope, there is only one definition.
In the Old Testament, there are various meanings of hope. Not so, in the New Testament.
The Greek transliterated word for hope is elpis. Elpis is defined as the joyful, confident, sure expectation of eternal salvation we have in Jesus Christ. This is the one, certain, single, unifying hope we share as Believers. We do not have a divided, splintered, disparate hope.
We may act like it, though.
As soon as one thing goes awry and what we were hoping for doesn’t happen, we struggle. When one wound inflicts harm, or one expectation fails to materialize, or one division forges contempt, or one person disagrees, or one dream falls apart, or one desire ebbs away, many of us may question our hope in Christ and in God, our Lord and Heavenly Father. We question our Lord’s care. We doubt our Lord’s goodness. We distrust our Lord’s intentions.
For when we have a divided hope, we purposely and subconsciously bind ourselves to the blessings we seek.
However, these blessings, desires, and dreams betray our varied, multitudinous, temporal hopes.
We may have forgotten the most important expression of our life in Christ.
It is our hope in Him.
In Christ, we have but one, single, unifying hope. We live, move, and have our being in our hope in Christ and what is yet to come as His glorious saints in His eternal Kingdom.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
New International Version, Ephesians 4: 4-6
You see what we may need to remember as we interact in this world is that we are partnered with Christ in some very significant ways that have nothing to do with the temporary targets we set for ourselves on earth. In Christ, as Believers, our lives should express hope-inspired love, unity and trust with His Kingdom and His purposes in mind.
We, as Christ followers, enjoy great unity in Him.
We all may attain the crown of life in Christ.
We all are justified by the same righteousness.
We all are filled by the One Spirit.
We all embrace the One Hope.
We all are the temple of Christ and may experience His abiding Presence.
We all are called by His name to receive and embrace His saving grace.
We all are loved, loved, loved with the immeasurable love of Christ.
Think on that.
If we, as Believers, lived with our One Hope in heart, soul and mind, we would demonstrate tremendous unity of Spirit and demonstrate great measures of love to a world that seems quite disenchanted by what we are currently speaking, acting, and living out in our day to day lives.
I am speaking to Christ-followers – we need to stop being so distracted by this, that, and the other thing that we think we desire and want on this earth and instead turn our poor and needy hearts to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom to come.
We need to live like our hope depended upon Jesus Christ and on nothing else.
This is why I believe the Christian world needs to be shaken and woken up to the precious, life-giving, affirming and wondrous hope we have in our souls. We are failing to take hold of this amazing hope in Christ. In so doing, we show a watching world that our hope in Christ isn’t that important to us. Instead, they observe us in the same crazy, unfulfilling, purposeless chase for temporal pursuits and aspirations as they are and not living into the sure, certain hope we claim.
Shame on us.
I include myself in this judgment. Yes, I know. I am not supposed to judge. That’s God’s job. However, as an exhorter, I can call and challenge – not just you – but me, too.
This study of hope has called me out.
Am I going to live into the single, unifying, harmonious hope that is mine in Christ, or not?
For me, my God has called me to One Hope.
I believe He has done the same for all Believers.
It’s time we answered this call and showed the world in which we live that the Hope of Christ makes a life-saving, unifying difference in us and can make a life-saving, unifying difference for them.
Like I said, I mean it.
What do you think?
Does the Christian world need to be shaken up and woken up to the One Hope we share in Christ?