THE CHRISTIAN’S LIVELY HOPE
Hope is the central theme of the Christian’s salvation. Our helmet is the “hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8). “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Rom. 8:24). What did the apostle Paul mean when he said we are saved by hope? Our hope in God and His Word (the way of salvation) is paramount to the Christian’s existence; we have no other hope. Christ is our lively hope. Christ, or our hope in Him, is what keeps us going and fighting the battle against sin and our flesh. Thereby we are saved.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). The Scriptures are a special friend to the Christian’s hope. As we study them and allow them to speak to our hearts, we are building upon the Foundation, the Chief Cornerstone. This strengthens our hope and confidence in the way of truth. We can be comforted, knowing that others have walked this way before us and were victorious.
“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil” (Heb. 6:18,19). What a wonderful assurance! As we flee for refuge to God and hope in His promises, we have a sure anchor in the storms of life. We must have our hope set upon God to withstand the wiles of the devil.
“We are in this world as a ship at sea, liable to be tossed up and down, and in danger of being cast away. Our souls are the vessels. The comforts, expectations, graces, and happiness of our souls are the precious cargo with which these vessels are loaded. Heaven is the harbor to which we sail. The temptations, persecutions, and afflictions that we encounter are the winds and waves that threaten our shipwreck. We have need of an anchor to keep us sure and steady, or we are in continual danger. Gospel hope is our anchor” (Matthew Henry).
This is a sure hope, exemplified by those who have gone on before and evidenced by the Spirit that dwells within. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).
Jesus has given us a hope that is alive and powerful. Only by clinging to this hope and walking in obedience will we have joy in the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
From Messenger of Truth, No. 7, April 4, 2012