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Hope

Posted by David Smith on

Last Sunday marked the beginning of the Advent season, and this first week of Advent is often centered around the theme of Hope. When we think about the word, “hope,” we often times use it in the context of not knowing what will happen; it usually involves a significant amount of uncertainty. We think and say things like, “I hope that tomorrow is a good day” or “I hope I get that present I asked for this Christmas.” And while we certainly find this use for “hope” in the Bible, we also find an important distinction of what hope in the Bible most often refers to. Author and Pastor John Piper puts it well when he writes that biblical hope is “a confident expectation and desire for something good in the future.”  Biblical hope involves an assurance and confident certainty in the future, rather than the uncertainty that we often associate with the word.

How, then, does this biblical hope involve a “confident expectation” for something good in the future? Where is this kind of hope found? Peter puts it beautifully in his first letter:  

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the deadand into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 3-5)

This hope is found in the assurance of who Jesus is and what He has done. Jesus, the God-man, the Word made flesh, the promised Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Conqueror of Death, the Firstborn over all creation. Through Jesus and through the gift of His Holy Spirit, we have been given new life—a new life that assures us one day we will be glorified just as He is glorified and that we will dwell with Him for all eternity. And this is not a stagnant hope, this is a “living hope.” It is a hope that causes us to rejoice in our trials, to remain steadfast in suffering, and to love as Jesus has loved us.
As we begin this Advent season, let us cling to the truth of this hope: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)

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