I have never played much golf. And when I did, it showed. My friend called my approach the “hit and hope method.” And he was almost right. He thought I just hit the ball, and hoped it went in the right direction. Actually, I just hoped to hit the ball.
Much of life can be this way. What passes for hope is often wishful thinking. We hope our team wins, that tomorrow is better than today. Let’s face it – these hopes often let us down. Hence the old saying, hope makes a good breakfast, but a poor supper.
Have you ever had hopes that were disappointed? That’s something we all share.
Yet this is not the biblical notion of hope. The hope of the gospel is something far more robust, lasting and life-changing – and eternal. The hope of the gospel is grounded in the person of Jesus. Paul can succinctly say that Jesus is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1).
This is a hope not dependent on circumstances, external situations, pressures and outcomes. This is a hope that transcends all situations. It is not the absence of trials, pressures or stresses, but the assurance of Jesus’ presence in the midst of these things, and indeed every part of life. It’s a hope that never disappoints. It’s participating in the life of the “God of hope” through the power of the Spirit, a hope that inspires us, and through the Spirit creates joy and peace in our innermost being. It’s the hope in our Lord Jesus Christ that enables us to endure patiently and work energetically in love for others.
May the hope of Jesus encourage, empower and guide you.
And may we share Paul’s prayer, in Romans 15:3:
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. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Study by John McLean
First published on 20 November 2019 in GCI Update Devotionals https://update.gci.org
About the writer:
John McLean is an elder in Grace Communion International in Brisbane Australia, and is the Director of Ambassador College of Christian Ministry (ACCM).
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