Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.1 Corinithins 13:13
Last week we looked at Faith, this week we are looking at the second of these three things which last forever – Hope.
Let me first of all say what this Hope isn’t! It isn’t wishful thinking! It isn’t saying things like “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow”, when there is absolutely no basis for holding to that hope. We use this word hope so loosely that it is hard to define it in a meaningful way.
But let us start by saying that hope needs a foundation, it has to be placed in something/someone trustworthy. Otherwise we are just going to be disappointed, and every time we place our hope erroneously in something/someone untrustworthy it erodes our hope and we become cynical and bitter and find it hard to take people at their word and which then reflects in our reluctance and inability to trust in God.
So hope, as in one of these three things which are going to last forever, what is it?
It is a desire with an expectation of obtainment or fulfillment. So it isn’t a vague wishful thinking, but there is an expectation of fulfillment. So hope in the bible is based on an expectation that God is faithful and that He will fulfill what He has promised, He will do what He said He would.
How do we know this, that God is trustworthy? Well we can read through the Old Testament and see in the history of the Israelites how again and again God did what He said He would do. We can see that He was faithful and as we move into the New Testament we see all His love and promises for redemption fulfilled in Jesus. Perhaps the thing which proves Him most trustworthy of all is that God did not withhold His own Son, His beloved son, so if He was willing to give up His Son so that we can be reconciled to Him surely this is definitive proof that God is trustworthy and we can place our hope in Him?
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?Romans 8:32
God then is our solid, secure anchor on whom we can place our hope.
19 This hope is a safe anchor for our souls. It will never move. This hope goes into the Holiest Place of All behind the curtain of heaven. 20 Jesus has already gone there.Hebrews 6:19
As we go into Easter week and think of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we see that Jesus has already gone into heaven before us to prepare a place for us. He is there, He is waiting, He is preparing our place.
Do not let your heart be troubled. You have put your trust in God, put your trust in Me also. 2 There are many rooms in My Father’s house. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going away to make a place for you. 3 After I go and make a place for you, I will come back and take you with Me.John 14:1-3
That hope that we are speaking of then is an eternal hope, it is found in Jesus, it is firm and sure, we have the surety of it, the conviction, the evidence.
Our outward present circumstances then are not the end of our story, but we have a hope for a better, more glorious, more secure future for eternity and that is firm, that is fixed, that is unmovable.
Our hope is sure and will last for ever.