Tonight at church the sermon was on the topic of hope. The speaker (whose name I can’t remember) was saying that hope, faith and love are all linked and important yet, while around 100% of church goers had heard a sermon on faith, around 75% had heard a sermon on love but only 5 to 10 percent had heard a sermon on hope. Where there is an incorrect understanding of hope, faith and love can suffer so these statistics are a little concerning.
The biblical definition of hope is different to the secular definition in that our hope is certain. Our hope is in God and because of God’s character we know we can trust in what he says even though his promises can take years to come true.
Hope, in both secular and biblical definitions, refers to the future i.e. you don’t hope for something that has already happened or is happening now. As a Christian we are hoping for Jesus’ return (among other things). We don’t know when it will be but we know it will happen and should be looking forward to it in the same way that a bride looks forward to her wedding day when she’ll see her groom in all his splendour.
Too many Christians (and I would have included myself in this until recently) are not looking forward to Jesus’ return. I was thinking about it from entirely the wrong point of view, focusing on how difficult the end times will be instead of focusing on the big picture – I should have been focusing on the fact that Christ will be glorified, all sin and earthly suffering will finally end and justice will prevail.