What are you hoping for? A better job? A relationship? Perfect children? A financial windfall? We often use the term “hope” to refer to pipe dreams or wishful thinking, but when we do this we miss what true “hope” is. The dictionary defines hope as “a wish or desire supported by some confidence of its fulfilment.” Hope from a Biblical perspective is exactly that–a belief grounded in faith and based upon the promises of a God who never lies and who always keeps His word.
Although it sounds like a weird concept the bible says, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love in our hearts.” Romans 5:3-5. Hope enables people to keep going long after they think they can because it holds the promise of better days and a brighter future. Ecclesiastes 9:4 states, “Anyone who is among the living has hope”. In other words, if you are still breathing, there is hope for you. No matter what you have done or what you are going through God’s hope is available to you because of three unchangeable truths from the Bible.
First, God is a God of second chances, forgiveness, and redemption. Acts 3:19 challenges us to “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”. In 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. There is no sin so big or bad that God is not willing to forgive.
Secondly, God has the power to make all things new–even you! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Behold the old has gone, the new is here!” God offers you a new beginning where the past is put behind you and you can face a new future with God walking with you.
Finally, God’s desire is to bless you. You can have hope that He will provide what you need and sustain you through trials. Psalm 34:10 says, “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” God may not remove life’s challenges but he does make a promise in Phillipains 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.
The Bible says there is an enemy to hope. The devil and he wants to keep you stuck in fear and dread which lead to discouragement, despair, and depression. But the “God of hope wants to fill you with all joy and peace as you trust Him, so that you may overflow with hope” (Romans 15:13). May the hope of our Lord be with you today and remind you that in all things you are more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:37).
On 6 September 2019 we will be inviting secondary students to a Youth Fest held at school called Activate Hope. This event is being organised by the Pastors team and local churches and aims to be a safe, interactive night out where teens can be powerfully impacted and discover the great hope there is in Jesus Christ. Save the date for your teens and if you want to help out on the night contact someone on the pastoral team. Check out the promo flyer and watch our Facebook page for more details.
Peace and hope