Jesus is Hope
As I've mostly understood hope, it is the desire of good with the expectation of obtaining it. I love the example that Paul gives the Romans in Chapter 4:18, Abraham is said to be without grounds to hope (Sarah was barren and 90+ years old), but was still hoping in fulfillment of God's promise to give him as many descendants as the stars. I stop to ponder that and compare myself to this example. I am without grounds to hope (because I'm not deserving of any good thing on my own) but I am still hoping in the fulfillment of God's promise to be with Christ and to know Him even as I am fully known (1 John 3:2, 3). I fully expect to obtain this promise.
I am inspired by David in Psalm 16:9, "My flesh will also rest in hope." Because God gave him instruction for life, David rested in hope, not having seen the Messiah, long before Jesus came to earth in bodily form, died and rose again, David had hope. What preceded David's hope? A glad heart and his body being tranformed into glory rejoicing. Shouldn't I have much more hope having the Scripture that testifies to Christ's sacrifice, burial and resurrection?
What I failed to see in the past about hope is how Jesus is our hope. I have to back up a littler here. Back to when God gave Moses the law. I never full understood that God's purpose for the Law was that we'd realize that we couldn't keep it and that we need a better way. Christ was that way. Christ is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1).
Interestingly, Jesus didn't use the word hope. Perhaps He didn't want to deter Jews to believe in Him, the Messiah, he just said, come to Me (Matthew 11:28). It would not have made sense for Jesus to say have hope in Me. He was the hope fulfilled. When we get something and see it, we don't need to have hope in getting it anymore. Hope is complete...past tense at that point. I understand why Paul wrote, "Hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes in what he already sees?" Romans 8:24.
Today, our hope is closely tied up with our future transformation of glory, when we are made complete and perfect, just as Christ intended. But the creation was subjected to vanity, in hope (remember, Jesus is hope). So, we are subjected to vanity but IN Christ. Christ dwells in us and in this we have a small foretaste of the future glory. Christ is the hope of glory (Col 1:27). Therefore to be without Christ, is to be without hope....this reminds me of Obama's 2008 campaign slogan...Hope. Not really. Hope distinguishes us from non-believers. Those who do not have Christ do not have hope (Ephesians 2:12). I can't really imagine not having any hope. I need to pray that God gives me a bigger heart for those who don't have hope and courage to share hope (Jesus).
I am so relieved that I can have REAL hope, expecting what I long for to really happen. I have Jesus (hope) to heal Micah and those we love facing cancer. I have Jesus (hope) to give Madison a good friend at school. I have Jesus (hope) to provide good friends for our family in Minnesota. I have Jesus (hope) to provide us with a small group. I have Jesus (hope) to bring Derrick home safely from work travel. Now, may I follow David's example REST in hope (Jesus)!
*Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may about in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit