You are late to meet your friend. The car starts and you pull out into traffic as you notice that the gas needle hovering over the empty line. You try your best calculations to determine if the amount of gas remaining in your tank will keep the engine running until you reach your friend. You really want to make it to your friend. You hope that your car has enough gas. Because your resources are limited, however, your hopes are really just wishes.
Earthly hope is limited to the best earthly resources we can marshal. Biblical hope is different. Biblical hope provides confident certainty about positive changes in the future. The reason for this certainty is the massive resource of the living God and his true word. Because the resource is infinitely better, this hope has transforming power.
If your money runs out before the bills are all paid, what hope do you have for your financial future? If you just have earthly hope, you are just wishful as you scramble to come up with cash. Maybe you can work another job, get an advance, or borrow money from a friend. But if you are a Christian, you can have a better hope. Because you have God as your caring Father and his promises you can be confident that he will provide for your needs.
If you are sick and you have run out of medical options, how helpful is it when a friend tells you to just keep hoping? “Hoping in what?” you might think. Does your friend know of another resource that you haven’t tried? But there is a stronger hope than mere human optimism can offer. You can hope in the living God. The living God can heal sicknesses and diseases that no doctor can touch. He has done it again and again, and recounts those stories in the Bible to inspire massive encouragement in his children.
If you are riddled with guilt, what would it be worth to find relief? Every day guilty people look to alcohol, drugs, and distraction to capture even temporary feelings of peace. Think of the hours and resources invested in the therapy industry. How much of that is represented by people looking to escape guilt because of wrongs they have done? But with God you can have hope of permanent peace. Through of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, God has made a way of forgiveness. Even if you are the wickedest king of Israel, a Christian killer, a greedy tax collector, or a denier of Jesus, the Lord’s grace can and will forgive your sins and relieve your guilt. God’s forgiveness provides sure hope for peace with him and can also form a foundation for restored relationships with others who have sinned as well.
What hope is there when a friend dies? On an earthly level death is certainly the end of everything. Although it is still sad, in Christ there is also sure hope mingled in with the grief. The Lord provides comfort for the downcast and confidence that we will see each other again in heaven.
Heaven itself provides massive hope. No matter how good your life has been on earth, it will never measure up to all that it could have been. But the Bible describes a hope that extends beyond the grave. God’s good plans for your life reach to eternity. The best is yet to come. In heaven, God will glorify his children––all of your sins and suffering will be gone forever. God will right all of the wrongs of this world. God will reward your efforts to honor him.
As you stumbling along through a world of troubles, you are not left with mere human resources. Your intelligence, your rich friends, your great health insurance and the medical world that that represents, and even all of the knowledge available online all have limits. If your hope is restricted to limited resources, all human optimism will find an end.
Because of Christ, God loves you without limits. He knows about your situation and he cares. He has all of the power he needs to bring you through it. While you don’t know what his plan for your circumstances is, you can have sure hope that God has a good plan and he is working out the details. Continue to fill your heart with truths about God from the Bible. As you do, ask God to inspire fresh hope within you. Having the infinite God as your Father provides a well-spring of hope as a permanent resource for your soul.
On some nights the full moon shines brightly, lighting up the darkness. On other nights in the month, the moon appears to be a sliver, and when it is new it is invisible. But in spite of what you see when you look into the heavens the moon is always present, circling the globe. God, your heavenly Father is always there too. Sometimes he seems so radiant and his promises leap off of the page of the Bible. At times like that your hope shines brightly. But at other times, God seems to just be a shining sliver or not visible at all. In those times, he is still present and working his good and perfect will. He still cares for you. He still knows all about your situations. He is still your resource for bright, shining hope. He will always come through. He will always keep every one of his precious promises. Your future will be great, because God will make it great in his time.
By John Crotts