A Re­li­able Hope

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - Church News - By Pas­tor David McKibben Gal­ston Sev­enth-day Ad­ven­tist Church

Over the last cou­ple of months we have been con­sid­er­ing the sub­ject of hope. Hope is an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of mean­ing­ful life, but it is im­por­tant to ask ques­tions about the na­ture of our hope. Last time we noted that our hope needs to be re­al­is­tic to guard us against dis­ap­point­ment and frus­tra­tion; this time we want to con­sider an­other vi­tal ques­tion: Is our hope real or an il­lu­sion?

From this ba­sic ques­tion flows a num­ber of re­lated queries. Is our hope based on fact or fan­tasy? Is our hope real or imag­i­nary? Who or what are we fol­low­ing, and do they have the abil­ity to de­liver on their prom­ises and ful­fil our hopes?

The pages of his­tory are lit­tered with the shat­tered hopes of in­di­vid­u­als and na­tions who fol­lowed charis­matic lead­ers, who promised much but ul­ti­mately led their fol­low­ers along a path to ruin. Cur­rent af­fairs pro­grammes reg­u­larly fea­ture the sto­ries of peo­ple who hoped to set up their own busi­ness or make a for­tune by in­vest­ing their re­sources in some fi­nan­cial scheme only for their dreams to turn into night­mares. Sadly, their hopes were built on shaky foun­da­tions and un­sound prom­ises.

What about the Chris­tian hope? Is it a fairy tale, a beau­ti­ful day­dream that is too good to be true?

No, be­cause the hope of­fered by the Chris­tian faith is based upon the per­son of Je­sus and his prom­ises. Dur­ing his earthly min­istry Je­sus made many prom­ises, all of which he kept. He said that he would give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45), and that is pre­cisely what he did when he died on the Cross on Good Fri­day. He said that he would rise from the dead (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34), and de­spite the best ef­forts of his en­e­mies that is pre­cisely what he did on the morn­ing of Easter Sun­day.

Je­sus also promised that he would re­turn to take his fol­low­ers to heaven to live eter­nally with him, and his re­turn is de­scribed in the Bi­ble as “the blessed hope – the glo­ri­ous ap­pear­ing of our great God and Saviour, Je­sus Christ ” (Ti­tus 2:13). Be­cause he has kept other prom­ises, we can have con­fi­dence that he will keep his word to come back.

Je­sus is re­li­able and his word is trust­wor­thy, hence the Chris­tian hope is re­li­able and not an il­lu­sion. “For no mat­ter how many prom­ises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.” (2 Corinthi­ans 1:20)

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