Hope that is seen is not hope. True hope is in what is not seen, for to hope in what is seen is absurdity. Does it make any sense to hope for something that we already possess? No, that would not be hope at all, but just plain nonsense. Hope can come about for many different reasons, but primarily hope is raised in us for two reasons; one is from a dream or aspiration; such as, what a young person might have in dreaming what he or she to do for a career. The person who dreams and hopes about what they would like to be in future is a hope that may or may not come about, because we are not able to guarantee what will happen in the future.
There is another reason that a person might have hope, however. It is hope that comes out of a promise by someone else who is able to make that hope become a reality. Now the certainty of the promise is only as good as person’s ability to make the promise happen. In Romans 4:18, Abraham had a hope in a promise that was made to him by God. In that verse we read, speaking of Abraham, “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’” The hope that Abraham had was based solely upon the promise of God, against all circumstantial reasons to the contrary; both, he and Sarah, were beyond child bearing years (verse 19). But that did stop Abraham from hoping in the promise that was made to Him by the Lord.
Despite the physical condition of his and Sarah’s body, he hoped in the promise, because he considered God able to perform that which would be impossible for man to do (verse 20). In Christ, as people who have come to Him in true repentance of sins, believing in Him alone and His one atoning sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life, we too have a hope that is based upon a promise, the promise of everlasting life. Jesus said that if you believe in Him with whole heart, you would have everlasting life. That promise was made by Him and recorded in many places in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John (cf. John Chapter 3:16-18). But this promise was not just made by the Lord while He walked among men; this promise was sealed and guaranteed by what He gives to all believers in Him. This seal of the promise and guarantee is the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 1:13-14). And so the hope of the believer in Christ is the most secure hope that anyone can possess. Indeed, the hope of the believer is so certain that it could be considered a reality; and in many respects it is. Did not Jesus tell us that if we believe in Him we not die, but will live forever? Yes, He did! (see John 11:25-26) Therefore, let us not doubt the hope of the promise of Christ, but rather trust in Him who is able to do what He has promised and guaranteed by giving us the seal of Holy Spirit. Let us not fear death or dying but rather count it as God bringing to realization that hope we have had all our life long, as believers in Christ. Put your hope in Christ alone, He will not disappoint, nor will He put you to shame.
Rev. Richard Stetler