This is part two of our series titled The Greatest. Last week we started the series with faith. We learned from Hebrews 11:1 that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We were shown human and biblical examples of having faith.
Today, we move onto part two – Hope. To understand hope, we need to know what hope is. Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Wikipedia further defines it as an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation.
Simple ways we utilize hope are:
I hope you like it. I hope to have a love like yours someday. I hope you decide to take the job.
Hope is incredibly important in life for health, happiness, and for success. The research shows that optimistic people are more likely to live fulfilling lives and to enjoy life. Plus, by relieving stress, hope helps to reduce the risk of many of the leading causes of death (high blood pressure, heart attack).
- First, hope is a vision, a goal, a desire that wants to be accomplished, a possible future that is desirable. It adds meaning and thrive, a reason to live.
- Secondly, hope has pathways that allow to attain it.
- And finally, hope needs grid, boldness, stamina, endurance, resilience as well as ability and willingness
1 Peter 1:3–5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
The Lord implants a living hope in each believer. So, what is a living hope? Peter defines for us the three aspects of this living hope:
There is a sure hope verse three; an eternal hope verse 4; and an enduring hope verse 5
Nothing can disappoint us in this life when the living hope of meeting with Christ brightly burns in our hearts.
A Sure Hope
No matter where you are at in life, or who you have in your life, if God isn’t in there, your hope will at best a temporary image and then it will be gone. Our hope materializes from who we are and not what we own or what we do.
For our “Hope” to be real and not imaginary, we need to make sure that our relationship with God is real and not imaginary. Four points to be made for this are:
You can only receive Salvation from God; God secured our salvation with his blood; Salvation takes us out of the dark into the light; God secured our salvation by rising on the third day and now sits at the right hand of the Father;
An Eternal Hope
“To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
The three things we take from that one single verse:
We know that we will live forever. In other words, we will still be alive in heaven after death; As we are now, we are not pure; We won’t fade once we have eternal hope
An Enduring Hope
We have all that period where we are tempted, maybe even going through a bad stretch, ready to give up, but we hold on because of our reliance on God’s power.
Just a reminder what verse five says again:
“Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”
This leads to the following points of an enduring hope:
- When we are saved, our trouble is confronted by both you and God;
- Your salvation leads to many blessings;
- We must put everything in God’s hand and not try to be the hero;
- Accept Jesus, you will receive a greater blessing when you have a greater faith;
If our hope is to remain in existence, remains a fantasy. Those of us that lose faith, generally work our way back to church to reconfirm that we have hope.
Although one might feel like giving up, don’t do it. God is not to blame. It is His grace and power that will keep you during these hard times. One day the troubles will end, and with the arrival of the blessings, you will not remember how bad it was.
So, in conclusion, for those of us that haven’t accepted Jesus that think we have hoped only an image of hope. It’s like you dream about that fishing boat that you want but never becomes a reality, but you always have that image.So, if we truly want hope, we must rely on Jesus. In order to do this and for it to be real, you must have faith in God. To have faith in God, you must have accepted our resurrected Savior as your Savior.
So, I challenge each of you to take that hope that you have and keep it alive. To do this your faith needs to grow stronger and your hope will not be a vision.