A Hope Eternal

I hope a lot. I hope to wake up to a white Christmas every December 25th. I hope to one day visit the Great Wall of China. I hope to make a difference in the world. At its root, hope is a feeling of expectation for a certain thing, typically positive, to happen. However, I think I am faulty to mislabel these particular hopes as nothing more than wishful thinking. Nothing is inherently wrong with snow days and world travels, but hope carries a different weight when we turn to its use in Scripture. Hope is indeed a theological virtue that continually looks toward. The New Testament is abounding with the word, appearing in over 150 verses, including in Peter’s epistle we are studying this week.

He writes the following to the elect exiles: “Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”  (1 Peter 1:3). Why would He cause a rebirth of His own creation when it is within His power to punish?  How does a living hope contrast to our mere wishes for a better world?

Proverbs 13:12 states that a “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”  Ever since mankind’s separation from God in the garden, we have been adept at deferring our hope. We settle on placing our hopes for a better world in things that are either dead or were not designed to hold the eternal desires of our souls. Governments collapse, layoffs end careers, our health is marred with cancers … and before long we are left with a rubble pile that once held all our answers.   

Yet according to His great mercy, Christ defeated death on our behalf and opened the way for us to be born again. We are no longer chained to the dead and dying hopes of this earthly life we so often defer to. Our hope is alive, eternal, and awaiting our arrival home. This hope is not a fantasy or a wish for a better world; it is as alive as Jesus the day He stepped out of the grave. For this we praise Him. 

By Bethany Taylor

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