The Search for Hope

Our theme this week is “reaching – sharing our hope in Christ with others.”

Hope is one of those challenging words. The definition of hope in our day is so very different from the hope described in the Scriptures. The world around us is constantly searching for hope, moving from one hope to the next. Today, our society searches for hope in a vaccine, in a return to normal, in political and social agendas, and in any number of other human initiatives.

The problem with the world’s search for hope is that all of these things are temporary and fleeting. The world’s hope is a wish, a desire, and anything but certain. Every time it appears that we are rounding the corner on this pandemic, the goal posts move. Just in recent days, the J&J vaccine has been pulled from distribution, the Moderna CEO said in an interview that additional booster shots would be required, and we continue to hear about new variants of this virus. That is the uncertain, fleeting nature of the world’s hope.

When I think about reaching others with our hope, there is a verse in 1 Peter that readily comes to mind. The Apostle Peter, writing to Christians under Roman persecution at the hands of Nero, pens these words:

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15 ESV).

The hope Peter describes here – biblical hope – could be defined as the certain expectation that God will do what He has promised. That definition stands in contrast, even in conflict, with the world’s definition of hope. The Apostle is not merely making a suggestion here or proposing a way we should consider living. The life Peter describes here is the expectation for every Believer. It is a consistent, steadfast life that demonstrates a living hope (1 Peter 1:3), which stands in contrast to the world’s hope and causes the world to question the reason for our hope.

The challenge for us is that too often, the hope we communicate by the pattern or our living doesn’t look much different from that of the world. When we become so invested in the outcome of an election that it alters our perspective; when we give in to anxiety and allow it to consume us; when our outlook is altered by the latest market news or virus statistics, we are not reflecting a hope that stands in contrast to the world’s hope.

Something to think about: What does my life communicate about my hope -- about the source of my hope?

By Jesse Smith

Jesse and his wife, Melanie, reside in Lexington, along with their son, Zak.

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