For the Christian, hope is a rescue. And it is a promise sealed in the blood of Christ. But 2000 years downstream from that cleansing flow, and 2000 years into more human suffering and depravity, heck, just 44 years into a life and I start to ask with the Psalmist, “How long O Lord?” And, “Why have you forgotten me?” The sufferings and trials of life make you look at what you’re hoping in and ask yourself, over and over again, “What is my hope again?”
The thing is, as a Christian, the circumstances in life that test your hope, cause you to find it to be very much alive and even stronger because of the pain of life.
Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Do you see the progression?
Sufferings produce endurance,
endurance produces character,
character produces hope,
and we aren’t ashamed of our hope because something living is going on in us.
The Holy Spirit is in us.
God’s love is in us.
And it’s growing in suffering.
Hope is alive, and he’s living in us!
1 Peter 1:3 puts it this way:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory…
Forty-four years ago I was born in sin. From infancy, in me was growing lying, hiding, blaming and pride day by day. But at age sixteen I was born again in a living hope. And from that day, I have been growing in genuine faith in Christ, even as I’m test by various trials.
I’ve never seen this Jesus, this living hope that made me alive when I was 16, but I love him. God’s love has been poured out into my heart. And though I can’t see him, and at times I cry, “Where are you?! Don’t you see me?! How long till I can see you?!” somehow in the midst of all the hard things there’s this sweet joy I just can’t explain.
Hope is alive, and he lives in me. No hard thing in life can’t kill that hope.