The audio version of this post likely differs some from the actual text in the original post

Hope is a lovely thing. Really, it’s incredible. And our God is a God of hope; afterall, He is our hope.

Most, probably all, of us hope for many things throughout our lives. It’s the pain of not attaining that thing that kills us, that comes off almost like a knife in the back from God. Of course it’s not as though God betrays His children. In fact, though we may betray Him, He will never do such a thing to us (2 Timothy 2:13). We deserve nothing but Hell from our just and loving God anyway, as it is. But, it’s quite the opposite, in all actuality, as He is working for the good of the people that love Him, that are called according to His divine purpose (Romans 8:28). Paul states this as something that we know. We know that God is good to His children.

So, although a hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12), we have a much greater hope than what our eyes hold before us, in this place. We may hope for a promotion, for healing even, for a new job, for money for college, for a girl to like us back, for a nice vacation with our family. When we become increasingly expectant of something like that, and we’ve hoped for it for some time, and then suddenly that hope comes plummeting down inside our chest, it’s not a very enjoyable feeling.

If this seems to happen repeatedly, even happening over and over again with the same sorts of hopes, it can get pretty discouraging. Breaking the heart, the soul, the mind, feeling like that anyway. It can hurt a lot and then hope can become something that’s almost scorned, because everytime we get close to what we’ve hoped for, it is lost to us. And so we take the very brief fall down to the bottom of the ladder again, smashing into the cement at the bottom, with bits of rocks carpeting the floor. We land there and pick ourselves up from the pain, just to hesitantly start climbing that ladder again.

After a while, the ladder doesn’t seem so appealing, regardless of how beautiful the thing at the top might seem. The climb becomes too distasteful because those rungs of rising hope grow less and less trustworthy in our sight. 

Hope can thus become a thing looked at with hatred almost. Though it should not be.

But that is the hope of this world. That is the hope where we might chase after it, and look forward to it again and again, but eventually, if we are children of God, I think we might start to come to this realization that everything we need is in God.

God is all:

All sufficient. All satisfying. All we need. He is our life, our breath, our food, our drink, He is the light to our eyes in the darkness, the path we walk by, the stones that we step upon as we walk across dark waters. He is the guidance of our minds and very beings, the joy of our lives, the delight of our very souls. He is satisfactory, more than satisfactory, more than enough, more than adequate, a billion times more than what we could possibly imagine to satisfy, and infinitely more still.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

You see, when we have such a great hope as that, then everything else really pales in comparison because the God of the universe, the whole entire stinkin’ universe, loves us. And when the God of the universe loves you, you really have nothing to fear. You do not have to be frightened by death itself, or the gates of Hell or Hades. For, we also hold that

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1

So if you are in Christ Jesus, you are a beloved child of God, and you no longer face condemnation. The just punishment that you faced has fallen upon the shoulders and body and person of Jesus Christ, so you do not have to fear suffering. He suffered the suffering that is most fearful for anyone, the wrath of God Himself. And, since He hath suffered it already, there is no longer any left for you, to be poured out on you, at the judgment seat of God Almighty.

The Accuser of the Brethern (Revelation 12:10), the Serpent, the Snake, the Devil himself may accuse you for your evil treachery and treason, but the price demanded has been paid already, and has been paid in full. The blood of Christ has bathed you, and the rich redness of it has washed over your soul and made you clean. Like nothing for us since before Adam and Eve fell in the Garden, humans can be innocent once more, counted innocent once more. They can be free and clean and justified.

And what does that mean? They have been declared innocent. We might stand guilty, but justification makes us right before God. With the justice demanded by the Law satisfied in Christ, we have hope. Christ died so we do not have to, and rose again that we might do the same. What greater hope, what more prolific joy?

It is a great happiness to us ironic in the sorrow of the very event, the death of God. For God died upon a tree on the earth He formed out of nothing, yet it is our joy now because we can die to our sin. And, furthermore, because we can rise again. Paul spells it out for us in one of his letters:

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:5-11

Living in light of such a hope and a joy, in light of such a reality, a hope deferred here on earth ought not destroy us. I have faced it, have felt the pain, have said things like, “I hate hope.” That is not the good working of God, but of the Devil in deceiving the minds of believers and unbelievers alike. Believers have such a great hope, and have such incredible promises, for this life and the next.

I forget all too often our great hope. My great hope ought not be in man, whether it be friends, family, women, coworkers, employers, or any such thing. My great hope ought to be in God. The message of the Gospel, the reality of the Good News, is our great hope.

We don’t live for this place. This place is not our home. This is not our eternity, this is not our whole life and dream and everything we strive for.

In the pain of life, when hope is deferred, perhaps time and time again, may we recall the great promises of God. May we recall the astounding and abounding truths of Scripture. May we look to Christ, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God’s throne (Hebrews 12:2).

Hold on to even this, what Jesus said to His disciples before He went to the cross. We know we will see Christ in glory one day and have joy everlasting, unblemished, unclouded, by the darkness and evil of sin.

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

John 16:22

Remember what was quoted before, also:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

For those that do not know Jesus, turn to Him. He died for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2), God in the form of a human. Perfectly innocent, never having sinned, He went to the cross willingly and had God’s wrath poured out on Him. He rose from the dead and was seen by many people, the Son of God, and He will judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1). Turn away from your sin and believe in Christ, confess your sin. Only Jesus can save you, nothing you can do can. There is no hope in our own goodness, but in the goodness of Christ alone. We have no goodnes simply in ourselves. Get on your knees even now and call out to God for salvation, recognizing you need Him to save you.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Blessings to you my brothers and sisters. All glory and praise and honor forever and ever to our Lord and God, our Savior, the King of kings and Lord of Hosts, to Jesus Christ, amen.

All denoted direct verse quotation are taken from the ESV


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