Good morning. I hope you are doing well this morning, and finding God’s peace in the midst of all the uncertainties at this time.
Most of us are hoping we might see an end to all the restrictions before too long; we hope to see the schools reopen, we hope people will be able to go back to work, and we hope a vaccine will soon be found that will bring an end to this pandemic. Muriel and I are hoping our plans to move house will go ahead on time, and of course we’re hoping that SCC will move confidently into the next phase of its life.
There are lots of things we hope for. Some of them will turn out as we hope; others may not. We may be relieved, or disappointed.
Christian hope, in Bible terms, is not like that. Rather, it is the confident expectation of good. Paul writes to Titus about ‘the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time’. In Hebrews we read ‘by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged’.
There is no uncertainty in this kind of hope. In view of God’s character and faithfulness, Paul could just as well have said ‘the certainty of eternal life’. Our hope is based not on what we might wish for, but on the nature of God Himself, who has made promises to us, and entered into a covenant which can never be broken. This means that however hard life may be (and many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world know a lot more about hardships and persecution than we do), we can all hold on to that confident expectation of God’s ultimate blessing, abundance, peace and glory.
So amid the uncertainties and limitations of lockdown, look up! Our hope is in our Lord Jesus, Who will not, and cannot fail us. We have the kind of hope that not only puts a smile on our faces, but deep joy in our hearts.