As we enter the new year today, I thought the word “hope” is appropriate. Hope is basically expectation of good, even of things and experiences that are better than before. Whenever we start a new year, we are filled with fresh hope. We all seek good; we all want things to be better than before. Only now, our hope must not be that of the unbelieving world (What good can they expect? What better things do they have to look forward to?), but the hope we have as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here is how Webster’s New World College Dictionary (4th edition) defines hope. As you think about these points, fill them in (and fill them out!) with our sure hope in Christ according to His promises to us in His Word.
1. a feeling that what is wanted is likely to happen; desire accompanied by expection
2. the thing that one has hope for
3. a reason for hope
4. a person or thing on which one may base some hope
5. trust; reliance
And now here from the Bible is our gospel hope – determined by, defined by, and delivered to us by our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ:
8I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 39:7- And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.
Psalm 43:5 – Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Romans 5:1-5: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Romans 15:13 – Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Phil.1:20-21 – According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
1 Thess.5: 8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Titus 1:2 – In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Titus 2: 11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Hebrews 6: 17Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18That 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: 19Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
1 Peter 1: 3Blessed 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, 4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
May God grant you a truly HOPE-filled 2014!