a chris­tian ’s hope

Activated - - NEWS -

Most peo­ple un­der­stand hope as wish­ful think­ing, as in I hope some­thing will hap­pen. But this is not what the Bi­ble means by hope. In the Bi­ble, hope is used in the sense of “joy­ful and con­fi­dent ex­pec­ta­tion.”

1 Maybe you hope for good things to hap­pen, or like me some­times, you tend to rather hope that bad things won’t hap­pen. In my case, when those less-than-ideal things do oc­cur, as they do for ev­ery­one, I’ve found the fol­low­ing af­fir­ma­tion com­fort­ing: “You’ve got to be­lieve that God is in con­trol of your life. It may be a tough time, but you’ve got to be­lieve that God has a rea­son for it and He’s go­ing to make ev­ery­thing good.”

2 This phi­los­o­phy works for the mun­dane dif­fi­cul­ties of life, but might not be enough for life’s deeper trou­bles, such as the di­ag­no­sis of a ter­mi­nal ill­ness, or the loss of home and liveli­hood. In types of se­ri­ous trou­ble we need se­ri­ous hope, and that’s what we can re­ceive through Je­sus. His res­ur­rec­tion, which Chris­tians com­mem­o­rate this month, in­cludes the prom­ise of our own eter­nal life with Him. As King David of old said, “Be­cause of this, my heart will be glad, my words will be joy­ful, and I will live in hope.”

3 And in the mean­time, Je­sus left in­di­ca­tions of how He wants us to lead our lives: As His Father sent Him, so He sends us. He calls us to be His hands, His

4 feet, His eyes, His lips; to bind up the bro­ken­hearted, com­fort those that mourn, feed the hun­gry, raise those whose spir­its have died from de­spair and lone­li­ness, give new sight to the blind by giv­ing them Je­sus the light, share the gospel with the poor, undo the heavy bur­dens, and set the spir­i­tu­ally op­pressed free. “Freely you have re­ceived, freely give.”

5 6 Let’s place Je­sus at the heart of our Easter cel­e­bra­tions and share with ev­ery­one we can the won­der­ful news of His birth, death, and res­ur­rec­tion, which pro­vide “con­fi­dent ex­pec­ta­tion” of a new life for all who reach out to Him. Sa­muel Keat­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Editor

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