When hope is snuffed out, even a Christian can lose the will to keep going. We’ve shared with you how we lost all hope in our marriage—and that led to a miserable existence. When there is no hope for change, no light that you can see at the end of the tunnel, you can be tempted to shut off your heart and just exist in misery. Or, sadly, some choose to check out of life altogether, literally.
We are now experiencing a season (a new life, really) that is much graver than the days when we struggled in our marriage. This season is even more sobering, as we face the daily challenges of my husband living with two rare diseases and chronic pain. This “new life” holds so many unknowns that fear often threatens to take me down.
Today, without the work of grace, we would have no hope for the future. We would give way to a state of despair.
If “hope” is based on circumstances, then it is a flimsy thing. It will waver like the wind, blowing here and there—and on days when a new gale of adversity hits, it will knock you down and you’ll feel ready to give up. Or, on days when blessings come on the wings of cool breezes, you might say that “All is right in the world . . .” When hope is based on circumstances, you’ll be drug from one extreme to another.
Living that way is not a life based on solid hope. And it’s very stressful.
Today, I encourage you to evaluate your understanding of hope and find security in the hope that is the anchor in every storm. This is our hope today. This is what we are clinging to in this season of pain. This is secure Hope.
The hope of the gospel is not a “hope” for something that may come, that you anticipate “might” happen, or that you’re looking to as a possible outcome, but the “living hope” that Jesus secured for us is our safety and assurance of His care for us through every difficulty.
The book of Hebrews describes this hope as an anchor that has been tested through Jesus’ entrance into the holy of holies (“the inner sanctuary behind the curtain”)—where He paid our sin debt.
“We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” (Hebrews 6:19).
If you will reframe your thinking, and base your perspective for today, and for the future, on the work of the cross, your hope will become a certain confidence. Not a confidence in future events, but a confidence and assurance in the person of Christ.
Our hope is not in a better situation, but our hope is in a Person.
So, what does that mean for you?
That means that you have something more dependable than what the circumstances imply. The circumstances can tell you that things are hopeless, that it will never improve, that there’s no purpose, and that nothing really matters. The circumstances can tell you that you’re worthless, or that no one cares, or that life isn’t worth living.
But, that’s not exactly true. Life may feel worthless. You may feel worthless. But, the truth is that Jesus cares. He does.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who was slain to deliver us from the mess we’re in, to reverse the effects of the Fall, to take on Himself the judgment I deserve, that actually, we all deserve. When we receive what He has done, we have the solid foundation of the living hope He secured for us.
As we function in life, and consistently walk in that hope, it shapes our reactions to adversity and our interactions with others. Jesus is the Living Hope that provides us with stability in completely unstable situations. He shapes us into living examples of His grace, filling the earth with His glory.
Take Time to Reflect ~
First Peter 1 gives a beautiful description of Jesus’ care for us. It tells us about His protective work and rescue. Slowly read through these chunks of Scripture and see the extent that Jesus went through to secure you as His own.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5).
Jesus sets us free from the bondage produced by the Fall. Do you know that you’ve truly been set free because of His blood that was shed for you?
Are you experiencing that “living hope?”
“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” (1 Peter 1:17–21).
Have you taken time to consider what the Father was doing when He sent His son to the cross?
Jesus came as a rescuer, He loves us and desires for us to respond to that love, He is not holding us at arms’ length, waiting for us to clean up our act in order to meet His approval—that’s not the gospel. Jesus came as our rescuer, He loves us and gave Himself for us, and every moment of every day can be lived in the freedom and joy of that love.
Consider the value of the payment He made for you. Your purchase price was the precious blood of Christ. He has provided the way for you to be birthed into that “living hope” that 1 Peter 1:3 describes.
How does that truth impact you?
Consider your worth and value to God—based on His personal sacrifice for you—not on your failures, your feelings, or how you’ve been treated in life. If you’ve been told that you are worthless—either directly or indirectly—attack that lie with the truth that 1 Peter provides.
Know that, because you belong to Christ, and are precious to Him, He will not abandon you—no matter how difficult the road is that you’re on today.
How does this “living hope” affect the way you respond to circumstances? How does it affect your outlook on life in general?
There are days when I look at my husband and wonder how he can continue in this painful journey. There are times when I release a flood of tears, in private, as I grieve the many losses.
But, there has never been a time throughout this horrific ordeal that we’ve been abandoned by the presence of Christ. There has never been a doubt that He is caring for us, and carrying us, to the other side of this long storm. We have that confidence because He proved His love and care for us at the cross.
Is your faith and hope in God?
Have you been rescued, redeemed, “born again to a living hope?” If you have experienced this, I invite you to take time to write out a description of how this happened and the difference it has made in your life.
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