As I write this, our world is experiencing an abundance of significant natural events that are causing distress. We just weathered two major, record-setting hurricanes. The west is being devoured by wildfires. One website tells us that there were 673 earthquakes in the world, recorded at a magnitude above 4.0 in the last 30 days!1There are wars and rumors of war, all across our globe. Not only is our physical world in upheaval, but our culture is degenerating morally and spiritually at break-neck speed. Kind of like a snowball rolling downhill!
As believers who read the Bible, we know that these are not just random events. The earth which God created for us to live on has an “expiration date.” Matthew 24 and Luke 21, along with the entire book of Revelation, tell us the things that must happen in the end times. And Revelation 21 describes a new heaven and earth to come – confirming that our earth will not last forever. I truly believe we are close to the end of time as we know it.
As one who believes in a rapture of the church, I’m also anticipating Jesus’ return. My heart and mind are set on hearing a trumpet, and being caught up to meet Jesus in the air (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58). And I hope and pray that it happens soon. As I said in a previous blog, I am hopefully optimistic that it could happen this year.
But what if God has sovereignly decided that He’s not ready for us to meet Him yet? Will I be dismayed and afraid at the future? Will I be hopeless?
No, I will still be filled with hope; for my hope is not in an event – it is in my Savior.
Hope is used in the Bible as both a noun and a verb. The verb is often translated as “trust.” The believers’ hope is defined as “joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.” It has to do with the unseen, and the future. According to Blue Letter Bible, the verb “hope” (Greek word elpizō) always appears with one of three propositions:
· eiswhich is translated “on” but means “in,” as in 1 Peter 3:5, who hoped in God. Our hope is directed to, and centered in, a person.
· epiwhich means “on,” as in Romans 15:12, on Him shall the Gentiles hope. This expresses the ground upon which hope rests.
· en, which means “in,” as in 1 Corinthians 15:19, we have hoped in Christ. This expresses the sphere and element in whom the hope is placed. This particular verse stresses the character of those who hope, more than the action; hope characterizes them, showing what sort of persons they are.
I love the picture these three prepositions give us:
Hope in Christ gives us Someone to look to, to focus our eyes on.
Hope in Christ provides a sure foundation on which to build our lives.
Hope in Christ makes us people of hope, as we navigate a world that is falling apart.
Have you ever asked someone, “What is your hope?” Their answer will reveal a lot about who they are, and what they believe.
Have you ever asked yourself, “What is my hope?”
Everyone has hope; what distinguishes us is who we have directed our hope to, on what foundationour hope rests, and how this hope affects our lives and our character.
Why should we care about what hopes and dreams others have? Because only hope in Christ will sustain us into eternity. I am hopefully anticipating the return of our Savior, because I have been privileged to meet Him here in this life. Our neighbors, friends and family who have not yet met the Savior have no hope other than what their physical life offers. When our world ends, their hope ends.
Are you living your life in the hope of Christ? How can you share that hope with someone today?
1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (NIV)