A Wonderful Life of Hope
A Wonderful Christian Life Series, Selected Passages
Biblical hope is not like how we usually define and use hope. In Many occurrences in the New Testament, the word hope is the Greek word elpis. It means to anticipate with pleasure. An example of elpis is found in Acts 2:26-27 which the Bible tells us, that Peter was excitingly testifying on the fulfillment of David’s prophecy regarding the resurrection of Christ. It was made hundreds of years ago before his time. And thus, Jesus was born, went to the cross, and resurrected from the dead as the Bible promised. So, to Peter’s mind, there is no doubt accompanying the hope we have in Jesus. It is assured, and it makes the heart glad, it makes us feel wonderful. Today, I want to share with you some reasons for living in hope.
1. Our hope is based on the reality of Christ.
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope.” 1 Timothy 1:1
· It was the Lord Jesus who appointed Paul to be an apostle.
· Our hope is not based on fleeting things, but in Christ – the eternal God and Saviour.
Who is Jesus according to the Bible? We turn to Colossians 1:15-20 for His nature.
· He is the image of the invisible God. v.15a. See also John 1:1 and 18.
· He is the firstborn over all creation v.15b.
o First in rank, not first in birth order.
· He is Creator, owner, and sustainer vv. 16-17
o God the Father planned the creation, Jesus was the implementer.
· He is Head of the church, v. 18a.
How wonderful it is to be part of the church that Jesus leads?
o He is the leader of the church.
o He supervises the church.
o He protects His church.
· He is the firstborn from among the dead. v. 18b
o He was first to have bodily risen from the dead.
o He was first to ascend to heaven after rising from the dead.
o He opens the door for our resurrection.
· “The fullness of God dwells in Him. v. 19.
o The fullness of God rests in Him permanently.
o There is no competition between God and Jesus.
o There is unity in the diversity of the Holy Trinity.
· He reconciled all things to God through his death on the cross, v. 20.
o By His grace and mercy, Jesus was able to bring sinners to the loving arms of God.
Is there anything else that is missing in Christ that stops you from putting your hope in Him? Jesus fulfilled all divine promises according to Luke 24:44. Thus, is there anything that would hinder you to put your hope in Jesus?
2. Our hope is based on God’s promises
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1, NKJV.
· Biblical hope is based on the promises of God in the Scripture.
· The word promise occurred more than 200 times in the Bible.
· The Bible contains more than 7,000 promises made by God to man.
· Some of those promises have not yet been fulfilled and we wait with great anticipation for their fulfillment.
· The most memorable fulfillment of God’s promise to us is Isaiah 9:6 – the birth of our Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
3. Our hope strengthens us in times of trials.
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.” 1 Peter 1:3-6, NKJV
· We have a hope that lives on, undying, and unceasing.
· We have a living hope that anticipates our resurrection as Jesus did.
· Living hope moves us from our emotional paralysis and trauma, to do the work that God has prepared for us to do.
“13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13, NKJV.
· See Joni Eareckson Tada’s story at https://www.christianity.com/wiki/people/who-is-joni-eareckson-tada.html