Men and women have always needed hope. In the day in which we live, where can true hope be found?
The Bible tells us that our hope is found in God, but not in what he will do for us today or tomorrow. Paul tells us in Romans 15 that hope is found in God’s eternal nature (v.13), the promises God has already made (v.8), and the coming of Jesus Christ (v.8, 12). Because of this, there is nothing in the present or the future than can shake our hope.
The Bible is also a source of hope (v.4) because it is the word of God. As such it reflects God himself. God is hope (v.13), therefore the Bible is hope; God is endurance and encouragement (v.5), therefore the Bible is endurance and encouragement.
When we read the Bible we find a record of God’s promises: “I will do this for you”, “I commit myself to this for you”, “I make my covenant with you”…. These promises carry through the Bible as the revelation of God unfolds in history up to, including, and beyond our day into eternity.
God never promises us:
- that our children won’t die;
- or that we won’t experience the tragedy of natural disasters;
- or that our loved ones won’t be crippled or traumatized or killed in war;
- or that a family member won’t be injured or killed by a drunk driver;
- or that we won’t be ravaged by disease;
- or that we won’t be disappointed, wounded, or abused by others.
What God does promise is that if we believe in Jesus Christ, trusting in his coming, his work on the cross and his resurrection, then we are Abraham’s offspring and everything that God is as God he will be to us (Genesis 17:7), in the midst of all the circumstances just described and everything else, forever.
We know this is true because of two words: Jesus came (v.8).
And this is the hope of Christmas.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13 ESV)