Summary: Our hope is unseen but very real. Our hope is founded upon Jesus and his Word. Our Great hope is for eternal life and the glories of Heaven.
The Christian’s Great Hope
Sunday, August 17, 2008 – AM
By Pastor Jim May
Romans 8:24-25, "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? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."
Hope is one of the three primary characteristics of a Christian. It is joined to faith and love. Now Hope, by definition, means that we do not yet possess that which we hope for, and in fact, that we have never actually seen what we hope for, but we believe it’s there nonetheless. Everything that makes you a Christian is centered upon the fact that you have a great Hope.
Unbelievers do not have this hope that you have. They may claim it and desire it, but until they come to truly know Jesus, they have a hope that is without foundation and will not stand. For Hope to be real it must have a solid foundation and that’s found only when your hope is placed in Jesus Christ and his shed blood and standing upon the unchanging Word of God.
Jesus is at the very center of our Hope. The reality of our Hope will only be fully realized and fulfilled at the Second Coming of Christ. Until then, it is a Hope that is hoped for and not received in its fullness.
Your Hope is a living hope. It does not break down when the winds of adversity and tragedy come against it. In fact, the more it comes under attack, the stronger your Hope becomes because it is never closer to being fulfilled than it is when those storms of life come against us. It is a Hope based upon Jesus and it is the Hope of Eternal Life, living in a place of absolute glory beholding the very face of God on a continual basis.
For we are saved by this Hope. And who is among those who make up this “We”?
It is all of those who have received the firstfruits of resurrection power through Jesus’ shed blood. Our bodies are no different than the sinner who doesn’t know the Lord. This mortal body is still in a perishing condition, no better off than anyone else. The difference is in the power of the Hope that lives in our hearts, for it is by that power that we are saved from sin and are destined to be delivered from the wrath of God that will poured out upon all of creation at the judgment.
Hope alone is the cause of salvation, but the means by which souls are brought to the enjoyment of it; salvation is the object of that hope.
To a Christian, the Hope that we have is not a “Pie in the Sky Vision” like you may have when you someone promises you something that is too good to be true. Have you ever had that in your life? It’s something that would be so good that you want to believe in it, but your common sense tells you that it’s all a lie and that there is always a catch to it somewhere.
I once had a “Pie in the Sky Vision”. Someone that I trusted told me of a business venture where you could make a lot of money by investing in a sure thing. I listened and invested a little bit of money in my naivety and quickly found that the pie disintegrated into nothingness and my money vanished into thin air. Thank God that my Hope for eternity will not, and cannot vanish in a puff of smoke at the end of my days.
Because we know that our Hope is real we are willing to patiently wait for it to come to pass. We count it as certain and real, as something valuable,; something that will be satisfying, and that will be received with great joy. We are locked into this present world by the breath of life, and we try to hold onto it as long as we can, but we also refuse to turn loose of the unseen hope, for it is more important to us that life itself.
And so, we wait with patience given to us by God’s grace. We face the battles of life, the persecution of men, the temptations of the devil, even in the face of unanswered prayer because we expect that the reward that awaits us is worthy of any price to have it.
Romans 8:26-27, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."