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.
(These devotions are based on: “Hope is” created by NewSpring Church)