Hope is a funny thing. In the context of this world it is something that is dependent on circumstances. We hope that things will get better. We hope we will get the job. We hope she "likes me as much as I like her". We hope and we are told that hope springs eternal. But hope is often left unexplored in the fear of seeing it crushed.
Hope is often fleeting like trying to chase after the wind. The least little word or action can suck it away from us, leaving us empty and dark. In an instant our castle built on the foundation of hope is reduced to rubble. All those things you hoped for, gone when you lose ... your job, your fight with cancer, your spouse, your court case. All hope destroyed as you see ... her with him, your failing grade, your rejection letter, your home gone up in flames, your car wrecked beyond repair. Lost hope can be described in countless ways and we have all tasted that bitter pill in one form or another.
That is the hope of this world, weak, fleeting, dissipating like a wisp of smoke. But that is not the hope born of Jesus. It is not the hope of which Paul wrote:
Faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. (Colossians 1:5-6)
The hope that is stored up for you in heaven is a treasure where no thief can steal it away, or rust corrode or moth destroy. Circumstances cannot get close to what has been stored away for us in heaven. This is not a weak hope because our hope is Jesus himself. Paul writes:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Does this sound like a cashing after the wind to you; or something that dissipates like a wisp of smoke? This hope comes from trust, a trust that says "No matter the circumstances, I have peace Jesus because I know I am yours and you are mine. I know your promises and you are the great promise keeper. I know your priorities trump my priorities and I trust you".
Our hope is based on relationship, on trust which comes from faith. How can we forget these words:
Love ... "always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres". (1 Corinthians 13:7)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
You see, our hope is based on love. Not love as defined and known by this world but the eternal love which is our God. Our hope is based on Jesus Christ, his act of love and redemption. No matter what this world has to throw at us it cannot touch our hope. It can't even come close, unless we have a false faith, false trust, false love and a false hope. This is why we must make sure that the ground we are standing on is solid so the storms can't steal the ground away from us.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
Let your hope, your real hope be renewed today. Know the promises of God. Place your life squarely upon them. Make sure it is the solid rock of Jesus Christ you stand upon. In everything give thanks to him who has given you new life. Trust Jesus so that your heart will not be troubled. He has given you peace; it is yours and it cannot be stolen away.