Lucy and Linus were sitting in front of the television set when Lucy said to Linus, “Go get me a glass of water!”
Linus looked surprised, “Why should I do anything for you? You never do anything for me.”
“On your 75th birthday,” Lucy promised, “I’ll bake you a cake.”
Linus got up, headed to the kitchen and said, “Life is sure more pleasant when you have something to look forward to.”
Our Bible word of the week is “hope.”
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Rom 15:4)
What is Hope?
Hope is not wishful thinking. Whistling in the dark. Or a wimpy approach to life. It’s not some Pollyanna approach to life.
Hope is a confident expectation. A happy expectation. A favorable anticipation. Hope is based on a solid faith that is rooted in the facts of the gospel. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).
Four Descriptions of our Hope
The Bible describes hope in way that encourages our hope. Fortifies our hope. Assures our hope. Our hope is called a….
1. Good Hope.
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace”(2 Thess. 2:16)
Why is it good? Because it is given to us by God. And it is given to us by His grace. We don’t have to earn it!
2. Better Hope
“For the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Heb 7:6).
Why is it better? Because it is connected with a better covenant, based upon better promises, brought about by a better sacrifice. It is ushered in by Christ’s coming.
3. Blessed Hope
“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
What makes it blessed? Because it is symbolized in the Son of God. He is our hope!
4. Living Hope.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3).
Why a living hope? Because of Jesus resurrection. His victory over sin, death and the devil gives us hope of our victory. And our eternal resurrection.
How Hope Helps?
(1) Hope Encourages Me to Get Started. If I have hope, I can make a start. A beginning. A commitment. I believe that it is worth the effort to try.
(2) Hope Enables Me to Live With ___________(You fill in the blank.) You can live with_____…..whatever burden you bear… whatever challenge you face… whatever infirmity you suffer… whatever slight you endure… whatever pressure you’re under…whatever persecution you confront… “And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation” (2 Cor 1:7).
(3) Hope Empowers Me to Say NO. Hope is the foundation of integrity. If there is nothing in the future that really matters, then why should I be a person of integrity? Honesty? Morality? But the Bible says, “Everyone who has this hope in Christ keeps himself pure just as Christ is pure” ( I Jn 3:3). Because of my hope, I can say no to temporary pleasures, to sinful lusts, and to ungodly alliances.
Our Hope in Christ
The Christian’s hope is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 1:1). Through His coming we have a more abundant life. By his sacrificial death, we enjoy forgiveness of sins. In His resurrection we anticipate life beyond the grave. And in expectation of His return, we know a heavenly home awaits those who “look for his glorious appearing.”
Yes, Linus, “Life is sure more pleasant when you have something to look forward to.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman