Our Confident Hope
“I sure hope so.”
Those are words that often express our wants and wishes. And there’s nothing wrong with them. Every human has temporal things they rightfully desire and for which they long. And while many of those very things are out of our control, we still hope. Even when the odds seem against us and the “chances” are low, we cling to hope, holding on to our wishes and wants.
But for the Christian, hope is far more than wishes and wants about temporal things. It is a confidence in God about eternal things. Namely, the coming of his kingdom, the righting of all wrongs, and the worship of God universally. Our hope in that future reality rests, not on chances and coincidence, but on the unfailing promises of God.
In fact, the promise that he will come again is rooted in the fact that he already came once. The promise that his kingdom will be consummated is rooted in the fact that it has already been initiated.
For centuries the Old Testament writers predicted the coming of the Messiah, assuring Israel and other nations that they weren’t waiting in futility, but rather in confident hope. Consider Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Just as promised, Christ came, the hope of the world and the fulfillment of all God promised. (Luke 1:35; Matthew 4:17; 2 Cor. 1:20)
So when Jesus himself and the New Testament writers comfort us with the promise of his second coming (John 14:3 and Hebrews 9:28 to name two), it isn’t based on mere chance or circumstantial likelihood. Quite the contrary! It is founded on the character of God who has kept all of his promises throughout history in actual time and space and will most certainly keep them all the way to the end.
That’s why biblical hope is far stronger than cultural hope. It is far more than living with our spiritual fingers crossed. It is living with our hearts set most assuredly and confidently, not on what we can produce, but on what God has promised—his kingdom come! That’s much greater than a “I sure hope so.” That’s a “Because he said so.”
This week, as Advent begins, “set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed”(1 Peter 1:13). Celebrate his first coming, and may it lead you to anticipate confidently his second coming.