Hope is expectant. It looks to the future. It is eagerly waiting for that struggle that you are facing to end. Waiting for that day on the calendar to finally arrive so you can have that celebration, that graduation ceremony, or that dream wedding you always wanted. Perhaps what you are hoping for is just out of reach and you are thinking that with the right skills, thoughts, or vibes you can get the extra oomph to grasp it.
So you hope. But what happens when what you were hoping for is no longer attainable? What happens when the graduation you waited four years for is postponed? What happens when your dream wedding is cancelled because no ones allowed to attend it? What happens when your retirement plans are derailed? What happens when your hope dies?
Perhaps you find your hope is dead because of all the uncertainty. You don’t want to hope beyond tomorrow, or even beyond the next couple of hours. With regulations and restrictions changing on a daily basis you have decided that hope just isn’t worth your energy or your time. So you’ve decided that hope is simply dead…at least for now.
In 1 Peter 1:3-9, we see a new kind of hope that we can latch onto as we continue into another month of uncertainty. I want to focus in on verses 3 and 4 where Peter writes:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.
I love that line. He has given us new birth into a living hope. A hope that is not dead. A hope that is not somewhere off in the distant future. We have access to a new hope. Right here. Right now. A hope that is freely available. When we lose our hope it is often easy to forget that we have the presence of Christ with us here and now. When we are in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation we can get so focused on what we no longer have access to and what has been taken away that we miss what can never be taken.
I know that when I start to focus on the hope that was lost I can get anxious, develop feelings of depression, and even get really angry. And when I let those feelings take my focus I can no longer see a way past it. So when my hope gets messed with I shift my focus onto the gift that I have in Jesus Christ. His gift of new life is better than any hope I was clinging to.
Jesus Christ is our living hope. He paid the cost for each and every one of us. So if you find your hope dying in the corner, look up and see that you have access to the best hope we could ever possibly want or desire. We have a hope for today that there is love available through Jesus. We have a hope today that there is freedom from temptation and struggle. We have a hope for today that our sins are forgiven. They are forgotten. We have a hope for today that we are made new and given a new purpose. A purpose to share the love of Christ.
One of my favorite quotes says “live your life in such a way that it demands an explanation.” During this time the way that we respond to uncertainty, and the loss of things hoped for, can be a huge testament to who Jesus is in our lives.
Your graduation may not look the way you thought it would, your school year might not end the way it started, your dream wedding might not happen exactly the way you pictured, and your retirement might not be starting the way you imagined it would. Now, more than ever before, you have the unique opportunity to show everyone around you that even if this world takes away what you hoped and dreamed for, you will not be shaken.
Shift your focus from what was lost to what you have already gained in Christ Jesus. A hope that will never fade. A hope that can never be taken away. A living hope.
What hope that you were holding onto has died in the last few months?
How can you reshape that hope in light of who Christ is in your life?
What new hope has risen?