Colossians 1:25-28 – “Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” NASU
Paul is speaking of a ‘mystery’ which sums up his ministry and in that he says it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” What does that mean? He is saying this is what I do. This is what I teach. This is the ministry that God has given me and it is capsulized in this statement, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” We can readily acknowledge that he is speaking of something that is vital, important, powerful, and significant but do we really understand what he is saying? I do not mean to elevate my understanding above yours but I struggled with this for a long time before the Holy Spirit opened my understanding in a way I had never before known. I want to share that with you and you can then add what I am saying to what you know and you will be stronger as a result. I am simply a student of Scripture as you, nothing more and nothing less!
HOPE – – What a maligned word today! In fact, in some circles, if you say that you “hope” you will be ostracized and declared as to be lacking in “faith.” Yet, when you examine the Bible you find that HOPE is prevalent throughout the New Testament. What has happened is that we ‘misuse’ the word and therefore relegate it to the ‘trash heap’ of our spiritual walk when it should not be treated so. The world’s use of HOPE is completely opposite of the Bible’s usage of the word. So, ‘What Is Hope?’
I heard an illustration some years ago in which a little boy gave a definition of HOPE. He said, “Hope is believing that you are going to get that, which anyone in their right mind knows you are not going to get!” That to the world is HOPE! People go through life ‘hoping’ and it usually means that whatever is being hoped for is HIGHLY IMPROBABLY! So, in that sense, it borders on the IMPOSSIBLE and to the average person and many in the Church it means ‘clinging to a thread’ when all rational expectation is gone! Another example is in the hospital. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve visited the hospital to hear someone say, “We can only hope.” That means they have no more rational expectation and are clinging to HOPE that goes nowhere and accomplishes nothing. In that sense, HOPE has inherent disappointment!
How many of us in our youth, teen years or early adulthood had dreams and aspirations that have been shattered and washed away in time? How many had ‘hopes’ in entering the marriage relationship believing that they would live a life where the little bluebirds of happiness would perpetually fly around their homes and lives only to find that reality was far different than the fantasy. HOPE, as understood by the world is filled with disappointment, because in hoping you know that what you are hoping for is not going to happen! Tragic! That IS NOT what the Bible speaks of when it speaks of HOPE! Hope in the Bible means: “The positive unshakable confidence that a specific blessing from God will without question come to pass.” That is BIBLICAL HOPE!
Biblical HOPE has eyes that peer into the future with expectation. It has a deep conviction that there is unshakable certainty that what you are hoping for will come to pass! So, biblical hope has inherent in it CERTAINTY! The hope of the world is filled with anticipated disappointment whereas the hope of the Bible is filled with certainty and expectancy! WHY? Because Bible Hope has GOD IN IT! It rests upon the character, nature, and word of God Himself. Bible Hope is not a dream, wish or fantasy it is an assurance that excitedly looks forward with expectation!
Philippians 1:20 – “…according to my earnest expectation and hope…”
[Amplified] – – – – – “…my own eager desire, persistent expectation and hope…”
THAT’S IT – – The eager desire. Whatever God says your heart says, “I want it!” It is persistent expectation and anticipation! No matter what happens, how bleak the picture becomes it is persistent and filled with expectancy because God said it and any promise of God is to be EXPECTED! You can Hope for it!
I HOPE in God and therefore I rise from sleep every morning with a tingle of excitement in my spirit. I can hardly wait for the day to begin because today (whatever day that is) I am going to experience a little bit more of what God has for me, in Christ! So, as I look at all my tomorrows, all my unlived futures I know that ‘this is the day the Lord has made….’ I know that in His timing He is going to bring to me all His promises! THAT’S HOPE!
So, if you will, HOPE is ‘faith’ in a manner of speaking! It is ‘faith’ shielding its eyes against the sunlight of adversity and saying: “I CAN SEE IT! I CAN SEE IT!” Everyone around you may be a naysayer but HOPE says “I SEE IT!” In God’s promises, I expectantly wait!
So, whatever you do – – DO NOT LOSE HOPE! It is an anchor spiritually! So as you go through your day go with Biblical Hope! God bless you richly!