What do you see hope as, is it a relative concept, based upon circumstances, something that can be changed at the drop of a hat, is it something that can be modified, or is it an absolute?
The word hope for the lost is in itself only a word, a chance that something might happen, but that something has so many different variables that it can never truly be pinned down. This is most evident at funerals for those who have died in their sins, and attended mostly by those who have yet to accept Christ as Savior. Most generally they are led by a pastor or similar person who will speak platitudes of what a great person this was, completely leaving the text up to what he has been informed of the person by relatives and friends. Their hope in these times is only that they are not next, they have no hope of where the deceased is at that moment, and will listen to no one who is spiritually aware, for the grieving is covered over by a false hope that their loved one is indeed in a good place because he was a good person.
These hold the same type of hope upon their demise that they do when hoping for a good day when they have a picnic planned, hoping that the noise the car is making is not serious, their hope rest in superstition, as it were, believing that thinking good thoughts long enough will make everything alright. These individuals can just as easily transpose the word “hope” for the word “wish,” they will wish for something to happen, cross their fingers, throw salt behind their back, whatever it takes to make the hope seem more possible. They are hopeless, and the realization of this truth is what drives them on to hope, to wish, to yearn for that thing that they have no control over, looking to their lucky stars to guide them to a truth that they can hold onto, anything for another moment of hope.
For the Christian, not so, there is no such thing as luck, chance or coincidence, but there is hope eternal, hope is the realization of an assurance that we have yet to experience, there is no such thing as wishful thinking for the child of God. You must remember in this hope that our Lord is not dictated by time, it holds no purchase upon Him, he is outside of time, and so the hope that we have is not bound by time either. We must move thru this slow, thick molasses, if you will, of time while we are here on this earth, every second being counted at times, but our hope is in the eternal, not the temporal. If you are a born-again believer and you want proof of this simply open the Book of Revelation, “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering’s, saying, Alleluia: for the LORD God omnipotent reigneth.” (Rev. 19:6) That is us, every single person who has ever given their lives to Jesus Christ, the bride of the Lamb, giving glory to the Lord our God, there is just one of the proofs of hope. You, my brothers and sisters in Christ, are in the Bible.
Why would we hope when we can see no proof of this hope here on this planet, when we are bound by the laws of nature, when the world around us is growing more and more evil every day, when persecutions are becoming common against our brothers and sisters, what hope is there to see today. Because hope is tied directly to faith, and our faith in Christ is what separates us from the world and the lost in it. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Rom. 8:25) Without the assurance of our salvation, there is no hope, and that is why there are so many religious organizations that tie works to their salvation, there is the possibility of hope, wishful thinking, that we can add something to the cross and gain favor with God by doing so, and so these individuals are leading a life of false hope. But we hope for that we see not.
If you do not have Hebrews 11:1 memorized, you should, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Look at the last part of this verse, the evidence of things not seen, try explaining that to an unsaved individual, these types of words have ended up putting people in asylums for periods of time. “There is evidence of something that cannot be seen, yeah, right, sure.” The words of hope in the Scriptures are for those who are saved, those who have been blessed with spiritual discernment, not for the lost, (1st Cor, 2:14) for us this word speaks of an eternal assurance, it is a word of fact, not wishful thinking. The problem with some Christians today though is that they cannot rest in this hope, for their eyes are forever inward, or on the world. The blessings of this hope is foreign to them for they will not seek the eternal in all that they do, they do not seek the kingdom of God first, but save their hope only for that which can be seen. And so as is according to this verse, their hope remains weak for the substance of the things that they hope for are seen only with the eyes, and not with their heart.
There are so many promises in the Scriptures of the love, care and eternal compassion that our Lord has for those that love Him and call Him Master, and yet because we tend only to look at the transitory, the temporal, we lose track of the promises of this hope that He has given us. These people have little joy or peace, for the troubles that come their way are not seen as something to rejoice in, but a new burden to bear, as it were, they take their eyes off the Lord, and forget his eternal promises to them. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11) The expected end is not in the mind of everyone that is a child of The Most High because they lose hope when a circumstance occurs in their life, forgetting that the event was sent or allowed by the Lord in the first place.
“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:2) Rejoice in what? The glory of God. Do you think that your lack of hope, anyone’s lack of trust, is going to modify the glory of God in any way whatsoever? We hope in that which already is, has been since before the foundation of the world, has been from eternity past, we hope in the glory of God. We are hoping in what is, what cannot be seen, and in perfect trust because His promises are true, we hope when others have lost all hope, we hope because He that has promised is faithful and true.
That which abides in the follower of Jesus Christ is a gift from the Holy Spirit of God, and can never be removed. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1st Cor. 13:13) We have faith, we have hope, we have love, and these will never be taken away from us, they are eternal, and all those who have eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord will abide in these for all of eternity. Those who are lost cannot understand this hope, but it is still your responsibility to try to help them to understand it as best as they can. It is your personal responsibility to trust in the One who has blessed you with this hope, and to trust in Him when everything seems hopeless. But that word, hopeless, my friends is a word that should never be in the vocabulary of any believer.