When was the last time you used the word hope? We will often use the word hope when talking about an event that is happening and how we hope it goes, what we hope happens in a day, how we hope friends/parents/teachers will behave, what we hope a sports result will be, what we hope the weather will be. As I write this I imagine there are thousands of people hoping that they will finish the London Marathon today.
The word hope refers to expectation, desire or trust. Most of the ways in which I have referred to the use of the word hope above are to do we expectation or desire. Things we’d like to see, or things we’d expect to see. However, when we talk, about hope as a result of the resurrection, we talk about it as something that we trust in. Our thought for the week comes from Ravi Zacharias who says
“Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity”
In 1 Peter1:3-6 Peter talks about the praise given to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who in his mercy gave us new life in the living hope of the resurrection. Peter and Ravi aren’t talking about thing that it would be great if they did happen, something nice to wish for. Instead they are talking about a knowledge that because of the cross and resurrection we can hope/trust that God has given us new life and is protecting us. Peter acknowledges that this does not mean life is going to be all sweetness, light, and wonderful. In fact he refers to the fact that ‘you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials’ but you can have a hope that you are being protected and that you willing have a place in heaven in the future.
Suffering is one of the main reasons that people give for not believing in God. Many people have heard about what happened to me the last but one week before Easter. I had an epileptic seizure, this wasn’t any seizure but a face first one on a step leading in to the school. I was somewhat confused, and my face looked a complete mess. It has taken weeks to clear up, and there are still scars. For many that would be enough to turn away and take away hope, but for me… I have absolutely no idea why it happened, especially why it had to happen like that, but I also knew that it was part of the journey that I’m on. I’ve actually had more ‘dramatic’ and painful seizures in the past so this was relatively low-key. But most importantly at the centre of my life, is the core of the Gospel, the cross and resurrection, what Ravi Zacharias says is the only hope for humanity. It’s not a desire for my face to look better, for the drugs to start working, or for the electrics in my brain to work properly. It is a hope that I have a new life in Christ where I won’t have to worry about those things.
Prayer: thank you father for giving us the cross and resurrection that we may have a hope in a new life and inheritance. Help us to remember that hope when we get caught up in our trials and tribulations. Amen
Challenge: think about how you use the word hope on a day to day basis. Read the quote and the passage from 1 Peter 1:3-6 – how do you think the word hope is used differently?