The Power of Hope

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling” (Ephesians 4:4).  Our hope is that which is laid up for us in heaven:  “that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).  Only those born again in Jesus Christ have that hope, and it is made sure by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 3:3; Colossians 1:27).  We are “saved by hope” (Romans 8:24), so there must be great benefit or power in hope.  What does hope accomplish for us in our salvation?  Let us consider a few.

Hope helps us endure difficulties, trials, and persecution, because we see through the eyes of faith the eternal reward and the appearing of our Savior:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3-9).  When hope wanes, we let slip the desire and expectation of heaven and we may forget the temporary nature of these trials we’re facing, and when we forget that, they seem more difficult to bear.  Hope helps us endure, and we need endurance, for only those who endure to the end will be saved (Revelation 2:10).  See then the power of hope.

Hope motivates us to purify ourselves.  “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).  Why struggle to keep ourselves pure from sin that can so easily beset us?  Why keep fighting and striving against sin and its impurity?  Hope.  Hope is a great motivator for holiness.  Upon Jesus Christ’s return, we want to be found by him pure, as a chaste virgin.  This was Paul’s desire for the Corinthians:  “For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2).  John writes, “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).  See again the power of hope.

Hope helps us be bold in and unashamed of our faith.  Speaking in the context of his and the other apostles’ ministry, Paul says, “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12).  But isn’t this true of all Christians?  Because of our strong hope that Jesus will return to take us to an eternal home with Him, we are motivated to boldly, unashamedly confess Jesus before men in both word and in our deeds.  And we dare not be ashamed of our faith in Jesus Christ, for Jesus said, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26).

Hope enables us to face death with confidence.  “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.   For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.   For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Because Christians have hope in the resurrection to eternal life, these divinely-given words bring comfort to us concerning those who died in Christ.  And with that hope living within us, we can have confidence, not fear, at our death.

Hope has great power in the life of the Christian.  “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Hebrews 6:19).  Hope is our anchor in the storms of life.  Truly, we are saved by hope.

                                 -Larry Jones