My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so,
would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you
to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:1-3)
At a time when His followers were confused, uncertain about the future and afraid, Jesus’ speaks words that every human being needs to hear; we need to hear them often…Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in me; you have put your trust in me; you have put your hope in me, therefore Do not let your hearts be troubled – for I am the God of hope.
As we think about this hope we have in Christ, it is important to understand that Biblical hope is different from the hope we find in this world. Much of what we call hope falls in the category of wishful thinking; the kind of hopeful feeling that says just maybe, somehow, some way, things will work out the way we wish they would; even though we don’t really have any certainty they will, nor any power to make it happen the way we might wish.
Hope is sometimes just wishful thinking and sometimes it is a kind of blind optimism; the kind of optimistic outlook that sees everything through rose-coloured glasses; that often blinds us to reality. Biblical hope is different!
For most people, hoping is something they do, but the Bible talks about hope as something we can possess. For the Christian, hope is the secure expectation that God is both willing and able to make good on the promises He has made. The writer of the book of Hebrews says, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) By the same writer we are encouraged to, hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
The Bible speaks of a living hope, because it is linked to one who faithful; the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the grave. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3-5) Through His death on the cross Jesus conquered sin and death and the grave. Through His resurrection, He secures for us an eternal hope, just has God has promised, demonstrating once and for all that that God is faithful; He does keep His word.
Hebrews 6:19 says, we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
This I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23) Jeremiah says we can live with hope because God is faithful; He is a God of compassion and grace. And because of this grace we have hope; our sins are forgiven and our future is secure. We have the hope of heaven, therefore, do not let your hearts be troubled.
Billy Graham has written, God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest. We understand this world can be a scary place to live in a times, but I want to remind you again, in the Bible, hope always wins! Hope enables us to overcome our greatest fears; our greatest obstacles; hope means refusing to give in. It allows us to rest each night and to have strength for each new day.
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Billy Graham recently said, I’ve become an old man now and I've preached all over the world and the older I get the more I cling to that hope that I started with many years ago and proclaimed it in many languages to many parts of the world.
We have this hope as an anchor for our souls; firm and secure. So my friends at Valley, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope.