Spring is coming!
We see the signs everywhere. The days are getting longer. The blossoms are blossoming. The early flowers are starting to bud and bloom. Suddenly on my walks there are more colours to see, a little sun on my face and the birds seem to be louder and more alive. Even though the weather turns cold again, the hope of spring and warmth and new life are just around the corner.
Hope is a powerful emotion, isn’t it? I wonder if you have ever reflected on the difference between Christian hope and the world’s hope? The world usually speaks of hope as wishful thinking – of things we’d really like to see or experience or have changed in our world, but we “hope” for it because they are far from a sure thing.
But that’s not the way the Bible speaks of our hope in Christ. Rather, our hope in Christ is a confident hope. What we hope for in Christ is a sure thing. We wait for God’s promises to us in Christ to be fully visible, not with wishful thinking but confident certainty. And the reason for this confidence is not found in us – it is found in God. We can have confident hope because God is faithful – he always keeps his promises. And we can have confident hope because God is powerful – he is always able to do what he promises. Death won’t defeat him; our own doubts won’t stop him; he won’t forget or change his mind. Christ is raised and he speaks for us in the throne room of God, so our hope is sure, certain, confident; not yet seen but one day soon, fully experienced.
Just like we see the flowers starting to bud and know with confidence that spring is coming, so, too, we can see God’s promises for us and know with confident hope they will come to be. This hope then gives us strength to keep going when we feel weary and worn (Is 40:30-31). This hope gives us a firm anchor for our soul when doubts or troubles come (Heb 6:19). This hope keeps us unswervingly facing Christ (Heb 10:23) and it’s what helps us to endure whatever comes in this life (1 Thes 1:3).
Hope in Christ is not wishful thinking. As we trust in Christ today, we can have confidence – confidence we will be saved; confidence nothing will ever separate us from God’s love; confidence that God’s Spirit is working in us; confidence that Jesus is coming back and one day we will live forever with him. I pray that you may know the hope to which God our Father has called us to in Christ!