The Christian's Hope
Some people are, by nature, optimistic. It is their natural temperament.
Others are, by the same token, pessimistic. You often get what you expect. One man sees a rose bush as in terms of thorns; another sees only the roses. One man sees the dark side of every cloud, while the other looks for the silver lining.
Yet genuine hope can never be based on your subjective outlook, your particular terperament. The person whose hope has no real basis, other than a general optimistic spirit, is clutching a hope that is deaf, dumb, and blind. The only valid hope is Christian hope, and temperament is not the orgin.
I. Christian Hope Grows Out of Faith (Heb. 6:12) We are admonished to be "followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (6:12). The distinction of Christian hope is that is an outgrowth of Christian faith. Hope is said to produce a full assurance that in turn stimulates eager discipleship (6:11), but faith in the mother of hope.
Hope is kept alive because faith endures all disappointments. The Gospel according to Matthew tells us of "a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years" this woman was considered to be ’unclean’ no one could touch her or anything she touched. She had gone to every doctor she knew or had ever heard about, and not one was able to help her. Can you imagine her many disappointments?
She became poor, because she had spent all the money she had seeking to find a cure. But in the midst of all her disappointments, and in the midst of the hopelessness she endured on a daily basis. it was faith that made her whole, she said,"If I could only touch the hem of His garment, I will be made whole" her hope was fulfilled because of her faith. The writer of Hebrews says that Abraham, the father of many nations "had patiently endured, (and) he obtained the promise" that God had made concerning him.
II. Christian Hope Is an Anchor (6:19) From the moment men built ships and sailed seas, the anchor became a symbol of hope. Christian hope is "an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast..." (6:19). The word translated "sure" is the source of the "asphalt," which means our anchor is held firmly. It cannot be dislodged because it is grounded in heaven, beyond this sin-cursed world. As Christians, our hope is anchored in the eternal. It is grounded in heaven.
The world is a dislodged anchor and dislodged anchors drive men to live dislodged lives. And those who suffer with a dislodged life will always face dis-appointment after disappointment with no hope of relief. However, Christians have a hope that never disappoints (Rom. 5:5). Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans that from despair by our hope: "For we are saved by hope..."(Rom. 8:24).
III. Christian Hope Is a Person: Jesus Christ (Heb. 6:19,20). Our hope (The Christian Hope) is in the living Savior. When Christ ascended to the Father, our hope was firmly planted in heaven,"...within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever..." (Heb. 6:19,20).
Jesus is our "forerunner." In the contemporary usage of the day, a "forerunner" was a scout, sometimes an advance guard of an army. When used an adjective it meant to rush forward with great speed. Jesus blazed the path to God. In effect, He became the path to God. Our faith is anchored in heaven because of Christ. Our hope lies in Christ, we are grounded in Christ. The songwriter was right,"We have this hope in nothing less, than Jesus and His righteousness."
Conclusion. But this living hope must be claimed. It is set before all men, but possessed only by those who, forsaking all other offers of hope (the world offers to us a false hope) we have surrendered to Christ and now He is our only refuge, our only hope!
To live without Christ is to live without hope. A faith-surrendered to Christ allows Him to enter our lives as Lord and Savior:"...Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). Amen.