By Paul Bawden,
As we look at the happenings in the USA and around the world, it’s easy to start thinking that hope is lost, there is no more hope.
It’s interesting when one looks at the negative side of what’s happening in our world that may seem true, but on the other side of the coin, there is always hope.
In fact, hope is one of the three necessary facets of life which all of us experience in one way or another. The other two necessary facets of life are faith and love, which we have looked at in our past two articles.
A brief review reminds us that for our faith to be vibrant and lasting we must have an eternal and personal object for our faith. The kind of love we need must be forgiving, selfless, accepting, and humble. Only Jesus Christ, through His death, burial and bodily resurrection has demonstrated that He is the only true object for our faith and can give the believer His kind of love to experience (cf. I Corinthians 13:4-8a).
It’s interesting that the words, “hopes all things,” are found in these words about Christ’s love. This means that through faith in Christ, the believer experiences His love which is filled with hope. Hope is not lost, but hope is very much alive in the believer, for Christ is the embodiment of hope (Colossians 1:27).
In fact, the word hope means that something good is about to happen – whether in life or in death, there is always hope for the follower of Jesus Christ. Why so? Peter puts it this way, that through the bodily resurrection of Christ, the believer doesn’t have a dead hope, but a living hope – an eternal hope for time and eternity.
So, what’s happening in your personal life right now? Do you need a living hope – yes, an eternal hope? What’s happening in the life of your family? Look at the events in the USA, with the division, and the lack of a standard for righteousness and truth – the lack of respect for one another, and the lack of value for life in the womb. Is there hope? What about the situation in the Middle East with hatred abounding and evil on the loose? What about those living in war torn Ukraine? Is there a living hope for them.
The biblical God doesn’t promise deliverance from one’s situation, although that can happen. What God does promise to the believer is His eternal indwelling with assurance, encouragement, strength in whatever situation a person may find oneself. Even if the situation is such that one passes from this life, God’s living hope guarantees the believer to be in His presence forever, with some day receiving a new body.
Faith and love go together in Jesus Christ. But if there is no hope in Him, life is here today and gone tomorrow. These three, faith, love, and hope are the essentials of life. We can’t have one without the other, and we can’t live without them. How about you? Is your hope in Jesus Christ for time and eternity?
Christ’s hope is not just for individuals and families, His hope is also for nations. Just think what it would be like if Christ’s hope was accepted in the USA, in the Middle East and Ukraine. Peace would come, and true solutions would be found. Regardless, some day, and it could be any time, Christ will return and bring His hope with peace to the world.
A lot is happening in the month of February – Black History Month – Valentine’s Day – Super Bowl – President’s Birthdays, a leap year – in the meantime hopelessness continues on – but for the believer in Christ, he lives, even in the midst of life’s challenges, with His forever hope! Praise the Lord!!
Paul Bawden is married and served in the full-time pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011, after which he and his wife served in four interims, three in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He is also a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe. They have three daughters and five grandchildren.
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