“Noooooooooo!” my heart wailed. “It can’t be over yet!”
“I don’t want to be finished,” I confessed aloud. The ending came too fast.
In a world that screams its worries and fears, in a world that condemns and shames, in a world that harbors offense, and in a world, that offers little consolation and encouragement, I believed that becoming more strengthened and solidified in the hope of Jesus Christ would make a difference in my life and in my faith.
Actually, this is why I began a hope quest at the start of 2017.
After eleven months of hope-inspired study and hope-centered living, I have reached its conclusion. Gratefully, in the process, I have become more of a hope-filled person. As I dedicated myself to understanding the hope offered me, I realized that there are some requirements to being a person of hope.
It doesn’t just happen. There is heart and mind work to be done.
So, how does one become a hope-filled person?
First, we must ask for the hope of Jesus Christ.
Hope is a gift. Hope is a joyful longing and confident expectation for Jesus Christ and His saving grace to be present and at work in our lives. For this better hope of Christ, we must ask.
Second, we must take hold of the hope of Christ.
Hope is a decision of the mind, the will, and the body. In the Old Testament, many references to hope are described using the Hebrew transliterated word, tiqvah. Tiqvah is a cord of hope. The cord of hope was offered to those who lived before the birth of Christ – encouraging them to stay true to their faith despite the long, long, long wait for their Savior and Lord. These believers took hold of the cord of hope and trusted that God would fulfill His promise. In the New Testament, the Greek transliterated word elpis is primarily used in Scripture. If we take hold of the courageous, confident, and strengthening hope of Jesus Christ we are held steady, firm, and secure. Elpis is the joyful, confident expectation of salvation of Jesus Christ which anchors and secures us. We take hold of this sure hope and we don’t let go.
Third, we must rest in the assurance of the hope of Christ.
Hope is a safeguard and protection against the offenses, violations, temptations, and dangers of this world. Friends, if we embrace the hope of Christ we will not despair. Believe me, I understand that this world is a scary place with scary people and with scary things. Yet, having the hope of Christ provides us with a reservoir of encouragement, security and blessing that we draw from in difficult times. The hope of Jesus Christ enables us to endure the trials, sorrows, setbacks, betrayals, disappointments and hardships of life. There is assurance and peace because the hope of Jesus Christ is always available to us.
Fourth, we must surrender to the influence of the hope of Jesus Christ.
We yield each aspect of our lives to the permeation and saturation of the hope of Jesus. Every worry, every fear, every matter of discontent, every dream, every struggle, every single situation that may cause us to distrust or be indifferent to the power and authority of Jesus Christ must be surrendered to Him. Many of us fail to live under this hope-filled influence, though. Instead, many who claim to follow Christ look and act just as hopeless as those who haven’t made a faith decision. I understand why so many despair. Life is hard. Disappointments, failures, and hardships abound. People let us down. We may believe that Jesus and God have let us down as well. When we haven’t achieved the life of our dreams or we can’t seem to catch a break, our hope in Christ fades and deadens. The world we live in is over-saturated with self-indulgence, egocentricity, and self-deceit. It’s human nature to make what happens in this world all about us and desire the world’s quick-fix, anesthetizing offerings. When things go awry, we become vulnerable to living in a state of perpetual hopelessness. We’ve released our grip on hope and come under the influence of this fallen world that has nothing to offer us.
But, Jesus Christ does!
He is the better hope that brings us near to God. Hope fastens upon a future joy and waits for the future revelation of Jesus Christ and His kingdom to come. As we do this, we count upon the sure promises of God and live with an abiding hope in His Son Jesus Christ in this life regardless of our circumstances.
Friends, we don’t count and depend upon people, things, and circumstances for our hope, strength, and purpose. No, our ground of hope is Jesus Christ. We live under the influence of His hope.
Friends, where are you at in terms of your own journey with the hope of Christ?
Do you need to ask for His hope and receive His saving redemption?
Do you need to take hold of His hope and experience His encouragement, consolation, and joy?
Do you need to rest in the assurance of His hope and be filled with His peace as you face difficulties and the strife in your relationships?
Do you need to surrender to the influence of His hope for your life in your day to day life and become free from the cares and worries of this world?
I began this hope study with the idea that there was something significant to be gained in my life through the power of hope. Over the past eleven months I discovered the hope of Jesus Christ to be so much more than I expected it to be. Today, I live under its life-changing influence.
Jesus Christ offers me a fountain of hope that refreshes and replenishes me. He has instilled His abiding hope with in me as:
A reservoir of hope
A strengthening hope
A waiting hope
An encouraging hope
A purposeful hope
A redeeming hope
A confident hope
A joyful hope
A certain hope
A courageous hope
A resting hope
An assuring hope
A secure hope
A sure hope
A better hope
A promising hope
A protective hope
An illuminating hope
A pure hope
A trustworthy hope
A sanctifying hope
A present hope
A future hope
An eternal hope
A true hope
A good, good, good hope
Friends, which gift of hope resonates with you? They are all available in the hope of Jesus Christ.
Ask for the gift of hope.
Take hold of the gift of hope.
Rest in the gift of hope.
Surrender to the influence of hope in living your life for Jesus Christ.
You’ll never be the same!
Be hope-filled and inspire your world!