Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Importance of Hope

Have you ever hit a barrier that you felt you could not make past? Ever reached a point where you said, “I can’t take it anymore,” and it did not go away? At such a time what is most needed is hope. But there is a bigger problem that engulfs the whole human race, of which our individual problems are only a symptom. And it is an even greater barrier than all the individual ones we face. That problem is the problem of sin and death. The Bible says that we are all sinners in rebellion against a holy God (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9). This has resulted in a world under a curse (Romans 8:19-23; Genesis 3:16-19; Revelation 22:3), ending in death (Romans 6:23; 5:12-21; Genesis 2:16,17). But we are helpless to change this situation by ourselves (Romans 8:8; 7:18; John 15:5). But we are told that, in spite of the seeming hopelessness of the situation, there is hope (Romans 8:24,25; Hebrews 6:18-20; Galatians 5:5). What then is this hope based on?  

This hope comes from God, who in order to deliver us from the trap we had gotten ourselves into, became a human being (John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:9-18) in order to pay the full price for all the wrong we had done (1 Peter 2:24,25; Colossians 2:13,14; 2 Corinthians 5:21). This was in fulfillment of the promise that God made in the beginning and that many had hoped for since then (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 9:1-7; Hebrews 11:13-16). The result of this is that those who put their faith in Him (Romans 4:4,5; Ephesians 2:8,9; Philippians 3:9) are forgiven for all their wrongdoing (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24-26; Acts 26:18). Therefore, we are saved to hope for an ultimate deliverance, in which God will remake this evil world we are in now into one that fits His original intention (Titus 2:13; Revelation 21:4; Philippians 3:20,21).

But though this is so, we still in the present have problems, even problems that might seem too big for us to endure. But our hope in God puts these into perspective (John 16:33; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Also, even if God does not immediately remove the problem (sometimes He does, but frequently He does not), we know that God is at work in our lives to accomplish His will even through the suffering (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 2:14). Therefore, we can trust Him for all of life (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalms 127:1,2; Hebrews 11:6). And if we can trust Him for our eternal salvation and all of life, should we not be able to trust Him for the particular situation we are in now? I do not promise you that God will deliver you from the circumstances you are in. But if He does not, He will, if you trust in Him, bring you through them. And in the final analysis, it is this hope in Him that makes the difference in how we face these situations.

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