In my job, I meet people from all different walks of life.
Unfortunately, I can often find myself with people who, because of the circumstances of their life, have lost all sense of hope for a better future.
To be in such a place is completely debilitating. There is a proverb – ‘were it not for hope, the heart would break.’
And it is true that, often, it is only our hope that things will be better in the future that keeps us going in the present.
We need hope in our lives...otherwise, life will crush us.
However, when we think about defining the word ‘hope’ – for many of us, the things we hope for are just dreams that we hold on to that realistically may never be fulfilled.
Someone may say their hope for the future is they will win the lottery.
Well, that may be what gives them hope for the future, but it is extremely unlikely to be fulfilled as a hope.
What I am saying is – often when we talk about the things that give us hope for the future – we are hoping for things we long for but we are not at all sure will ever happen.
The Bible has much to say about hope.
One of Jesus’ disciples – Peter – wrote a letter in a time of personal suffering – and yet it is a letter brimming with hope.
And the reason for this, he says, is he has ‘a living hope’ (1 Peter 1:3).
And it is very significant – that he referred to ‘living hope’ rather than simply ‘hope’.
He is making the point that he is not hoping for something against the odds that probably won’t happen. He is hoping in something that he is absolutely convinced will be fulfilled.
And he states what he has hope for is a secure, marvellous, joyful, eternal future!
And upon what does he base that hope? ‘A living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’ (1 Peter 1:3).
Peter is saying he now has a hope for the future that, as far as he is concerned, is not based on some wishful thinking but on a truth that he has personally witnessed that makes his hope sure.
He has personally witnessed Jesus conquer death on our behalf!
Peter is convinced Jesus Christ came to offer him (and indeed all of us) the hope of a secure, marvellous, joyful, eternal future.
And he is convinced it is a certain hope rather than an unrealistic dream.
If we all need hope in our lives, then that is a hope worth investigating, is it not?
In Romans we are assured that, if we do investigate it, it will be a ‘hope that does not disappoint us’ (Romans 5:5).