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April 2015

THE GOD OF HOPE

Why God’s hope is better than our hope

 

By Beverley Carter

 
As a young Christian, many years ago, I was a little confused when I read texts such as Titus 2:13, which speak about the “blessed hope.”
 
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
 
The confusion came because my English Dictionary defined “hope” as follows: The feeling that what is wanted can happen or an event will turn out as desired.  (For example, a brilliant young gymnast may have high hopes of making the Olympic team, but hope is not always enough.)
 
If the writers of my Dictionary were correct, did this mean that God’s faithfulness or His promises could be in doubt?  I could only “hope” or “wish” that He would keep His promise.
 
It took time and serious Bible study to realize that our belief in the “blessed hope” was based upon the God of Hope, not just optimistic feelings about the future.  “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope…” – Romans 15:3.
 
While the English word “hope” contains an element of uncertainty, the Greek words of the New Testament used to describe the “blessed hope” speak with certainty about our future in Christ.
 
The Blessed Hope is not a blessed wish.  When Jesus shed His blood on Calvary, our hope became sure. Jesus became our great affirmation, which is what God’s hope is all about.
 
How does hope differ from faith?  They are separate but closely connected.  Faith gives life and reason to hope.  According to Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
 
King David said in Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.”
 
Ephesians 2:12-13 tells us to “remember the time we were separate from Christ, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
 
According to Hebrews 6:19, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  God’s hope is our anchor that cannot be moved!
 
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13
 
Man’s hope is shrouded in uncertainty, but God’s hope is so sure it fills us with joy and peace.  Now that is a “hope” worth clinging to.
 

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