Three Paths of Hope

“Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12-13).

People relate to hope in different ways, but the Bible indicates three basic approaches:

1. False hopes.
Most people cherish hope in some form or another. Unfortunately the evidence for that hope is sadly lacking. People may hope for a better life with a different career path or relationship, but they cannot project themselves into the future to see if it will all work out. Others place hope in a false religion or philosophy, all of which end in eternal disappointment. Still, people cling to false hope.

2. Hopelessness.
Many people relate to hope negatively. They simply cherish few if any hopes. You can usually see it in their eyes or on their face: a look of disappointment. They have lost meaning for life and now only exist. Taken to an extreme degree, they may choose to end their own lives. They do not chase false hopes, they simply have no hope at all, and it shows.

3. Biblical hope.
Christians possess ongoing life-giving hope. The hope of new life in Christ puts a bounce in their step, a sparkle in their eye, and a joy in their heart. They base this hope not on an illusion or a sales pith; their hope rests on a sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16), the true and sure promises of God (Hebrews 6:12). When Christians recall that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18), they rely even more on the steadfast promises of God.

Application

1. Resist the temptation to lose hope.
When life bombards us with fiery darts followed by seasons of trial, remember the blessed words of hope uttered by the Savior and His apostles; trust in the promises of God. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability (1 Corinthians 10:13). Trust Him with your entire being, and launch out with new resolve to live by faith, not by sight.

2. Reflect hope in this hopeless world.
As Christ shines His hope in our souls, so we must let our lights shine before others. Today or tomorrow we will face scores of people who have little or no hope. Our words and spirit can reflect Christ in this world so that others may embrace Christ, too. Praise God for the hope He brings us. May we radiate Christ wherever we go.

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