The Church is united by a shared hope. Ephesians 4 tells us “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” (Ephesians 4:4-6). We were called to one hope; the hope that is only found in trusting Jesus for the forgiveness of sin.
Hope is contagious. When we’re promised great things we’re filled with expectation that something incredible is going to happen. True hope cannot be stopped, and it cannot be contained.
When our hope in God’s promises determines our actions, faith grows. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
At times, we feel the uncertainty of uneven, rocky roads. We may even feel like we’re on a journey that seems impossible. Hope is what allows us to persevere through the fear and the pain. And hope is more powerful than any uphill journey we face today.
Like the writer of Lamentations, we can look back at all God has done for us in the past and take hope in knowing that God won’t give up on us now. “[The Lord’s] compassions never fail. They are new every morning...” (Lamentations 3:22-23) We aren’t just optimistic that the best is yet to come. Like Mary, we can have hope that the best is yet to come because our God says it is, and He always keeps His word.
Joseph risked his reputation. The disciples risked their lives. In return, they had the privilege of knowing Jesus while he lived on this earth, and their character—the very thing people questioned during their lifetimes—is celebrated in the Bible and became an example for generations to come.
Many of our Native brothers and sisters live without the hope. This lack of hope covers them with a darkness that infiltrates their whole life. (You can read more about it here.)
But before we are able to share the hope we have in Jesus, we need to understand exactly what we have, what it means, and how we live because of it.
Join us in these 6 weeks after Easter with “What is Hope?”
Read: 1 Peter 1:3-5 & Psalms 62:5-8
Imagine a child getting lost in the mall while Christmas shopping. Even if her parents had to search for hours and hours, would they give up on trying to find her?
Like a child separated from her parents, our sin separates us from God. Romans 3:23 says we have "all sinned and fall short of the glory of God." That sounds utterly hopeless, but like a parent who won't give up, God never gave up on us and found a way to repair our relationship with Him.
God loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to make a way for us to have a relationship with Him. We could never pay the debt our sin created. When Jesus died on the cross, He took our punishment for us. When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved that He was more powerful than all of the sin, death, and evil in this world. When we follow Jesus, we are reunited with our Father in heaven, and we receive the power to overcome, just like Jesus did.
Jesus is the object and source of our hope. This is why Easter is so important. Without Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, our sins would not be forgiven. We would still be apart from God, like a child lost in the hustle of the Christmas shopping season.
Hope begins with being reunited with God, and once we are, Jesus begins to bring hope to all areas of our life. There is no situation in your life right now that is too bad for the “living hope” promised to us in 1 Peter 1:3.
However, our world teaches us that if we do the right things, we will be successful. If we study diligently in our younger years, we can get the job we’ve always wanted. If we take on more projects at work, we can get the promotion. If we teach our children correctly, they will be well behaved. If we spend time on our marriage, we’ll be better equipped to solve conflict. But when these formulas don’t hold true in every situation, we become discouraged.
We thought we could earn a brighter future, but reality often leaves us without hope.
In the book of Psalms, David teaches us that hope isn’t something we can manufacture on our own. God is the Giver of hope. Paul, a leader in the early Church, wrote to the people of Ephesus, “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Because Jesus gives us salvation, we receive hope from Him. When we give our life to God, He places hope in our heart.
There is no magic formula that automatically fills us with hope. A gift is not something that is earned; it is freely given. The same is true for the gift of hope that Jesus offers. We need only to receive it. There is nothing we can do to extinguish His undivided love for us.