Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
Daffodils, for me, have somehow always symbolised hope. While here in South Africa we seldom experience the phenomenon of an early daffodil thrusting through the layers of snow to reach the sunlight, it’s a remarkable picture of the power of hope in Christ and how very different this hope is compared to that we encounter in the world.
By its very nature, hope is a tender and fragile thing.
It’s easily shaken, broken, and lost. It’s sensitive to abuse and betrayal, and once gone, is very difficult to retrieve. This is our experience in the world, where hope is based on what we believe or imagine could happen rather than on anything fixed, permanent, eternal, and unchanging – in other words, on what will happen. This is the critical difference that hope in Christ brings to every believer. We can no longer be disappointed because our hope is built on the very nature of God who is faithful and unchanging.
In the world, hope is essentially ‘wishful thinking’ and we are as likely to be disappointed as we are to be pleasantly surprised. Our hope in Christ, on the other hand, is firmly rooted in Jesus Himself and is a living hope. (1 Peter 1:3-7) That means that it’s dynamic and powerful. It contains the resurrection life of Christ available to each and every believer in this life and in the eternal life to come.
Hope in Christ is, first and foremost, a future hope.
When we exercise our hope in Christ, we are essentially functioning on a supernatural level. We are lifted from the limitations of the world and enabled to position ourselves with Christ, looking forward to His promise of His return and of eternal life with Him. It’s a reminder that we are destined for heaven. It’s an assurance that the things of this world have no hold over us and we live by the Spirit, not the flesh. It’s the absolute certainty, based on the promises of God, that we are citizens of His kingdom and have a place beside Him in eternity.
In this sense, hope in Christ looks forward. These things that we hope for, and which we have faith for, are those which concern our future in Christ. While the hope of the world looks at only today, tomorrow, and the present earthly future, hope in Christ looks beyond to a glorious future which knows no limits. It makes us a peculiar people indeed, a people which looks forward to the coming of the King and the peace that only He can bring. Hope in Christ speaks of a glorious eternity that outshines any human hope for peace, security, success, stability, riches, or satisfaction.
Our present hope is also hope in Christ.
Living only ‘for the future’ puts us in the place of ‘being too spiritually minded to be any earthly good.’ Hope in Christ is a living hope, which means it’s as relevant in our daily lives as it is in our anticipation of the things to come. The very basis of our Christian walk is the resurrection life in Christ – a life that is imparted to us at the moment of our salvation. It is the hope that enables us to live in the world but not of the world. The power of that hope is beautifully illustrated by our little daffodil. Against seemingly impossible odds, through the most difficult and adverse conditions, that little plant pushes ever upward.
This is the nature and character of hope in Christ. It is a living hope that embodies the resurrection power of Jesus that enables every believer to push from the grave and grow into their purpose. It is the grace that achieves the impossible, that transforms from death to life, from sin to righteousness, from slavery to perfect freedom. The reality, however, is that our little plant still had to ‘do the growing.’ It wasn’t an instant ‘hey presto’ moment, a buried bulb one moment and a thriving, flowering plant the next. It had to germinate, to push roots and leaves, to thrust up through cold soil and freezing snow, and then still produce those happy, cheerful blossoms.
Hope in Christ is very practical for our everyday lives.
First, we have hope in Christ for our victory in Christ. He has already achieved victory through His death and resurrection. Nothing can prevent us reaching the life He has for us. Every snare, every disease, every disaster, and every chain is already dealt with. He has already made the way, and we only have to follow the path already prepared. Will it be easy? No. But our hope in Christ provides the absolute assurance that it’s already accomplished, because He has gone before us and is the way.
Second, our hope in Christ is for our righteousness in Christ. We are no longer subject to the bondages and curses of sin and disobedience. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, or from His mercy and forgiveness, providing we live in the righteousness of Christ. We have the absolute assurance that when we mess up, we can come to the throne, to the Father, in repentance and confession and be forgiven, justified, sanctified, and made righteous. This is the power of hope in Christ: that the enemy no longer has a legal right to accuse us, because the Son of God Himself has paid the price for our transgressions.
Living in the power of hope in Christ.
This is why we can be absolutely assured that our hope in Christ will never disappoint us. Remember, Jesus exists in eternity and is not subject to the limitations of time and place. Everything He purchased for us has already happened. It’s not something that will happen for us. It’s done and dusted. It can never be altered or changed, because it’s bought and paid for with His precious blood. And, most importantly, everything Jesus did was by the will of the Father, who remains eternally faithful and unchanging. This precious living hope is neither temporary nor transitory. It is the will of God, revealed to us through the life of His Son. It is the one thing that we can be sure will never change or disappoint.
Thank you, Lord, for Your eternal, powerful hope that sustains us and strengthens us in our walk with You. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Help to hold fast to that precious living hope, to look forward to the coming of Christ and our eternity with Him, and to live in the power of His resurrection life today.