Hebrews 10:23— “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
The uncertainty that has plagued 2020 continues, and with it the elevated stress levels so many around us are experiencing. If ever there was a need for hope, it is now. I’m not talking about the world’s idea of hope, best described as “wishful thinking pursuing an outcome.” All of us have heard oft-repeated phrases like, “I hope this ends soon,” “I hope my family doesn’t get sick,” “I hope my job continues,” and the like. In those phrases, hope is understood as “to want something to happen or be true.” It is something we generate within ourselves, is activated by our own willpower, and is all too easily crushed by circumstances.
The good news is that Christian hope is something else entirely. The biblical use of the word refers to “deep seated joyful confidence about the future rooted in the certainty of God’s promises.” We as followers of Christ have been given a preview of the end of the book. Because Jesus has conquered death and won the ultimate victory, we too will live forever and share in Christ’s victory forever. We know all works out in the end and that in fact there will never be an “end” for us. As 2 Corinthians 4:17 declares, “… our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Simply put, we are heirs of certain victory, no matter our present circumstances. As such, we can smile in the midst of chaos, knowing that God has already done all that is needed and that His (and therefore our) victory is not in doubt. That certainty is what the world around us is longing and searching for but desperately unable to find. Therefore, as we demonstrate the peace and confidence borne of that hope, we serve as beacons pointing the way to the one and only answer, Jesus. Peter’s instruction in 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have,” assumes that this certainty is evident to those around us, so much so that others will approach us to ask how we can be so joyful in such difficult times.
With that in mind, let’s shine as hope-bearers in this time of uncertainty, living with the confidence that flows from knowing all things are working together for our good and God’s purpose. Let us live as those who “… have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6.19) Further, may those around us be so impressed with our stability and peace that they ask us how they might have that same certainty. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)