Colossians 1:25-29 – “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.” NASB
In considering Hope, we need to be reminded that farmers operate in Hope! Not the hope of the world but the hope of the Bible. Every farmer or gardener, around August/September gets a Bible (seed catalog). It shows some of the most unbelievably beautiful pictures of the finished product but you have a blub or a plant. Then, in the sure and certain hope that the book is truthful you put that blub into the ground. Why? Because you believe the book. You’ve seen the picture! Then all winter long You Hope! You know that there is life under the ground where you planted the bulb. That’s the Hope that we have in Christ!
When I look at my life, when I first came to Christ and realize that I have been purposed to be ‘conformed to the image of God’s dear Son’ I am awed with wonder. But, I take the Book (the Bible) and look at the picture it paints of the finished product. I do not regard my present state or condition but I regard Christ who lives in me and in that I Hope!
That is not wishful thinking but a certain expectation! The Life! The Hope of Glory! I anticipate it becoming reality in me and at that point I discover what Christianity is all about! Hope! Therefore, I live constantly in a state of ‘excited anticipation.’ No matter what comes my way I Hope, excitedly and expectantly! Everything God said is going to burst forth in my life! I expect it, anticipate it, and Hope in it!
Remember in the Book of Acts when Paul is arrested because he declared that Jesus was the Messiah, and that the Promises of the Old Testament had been fulfilled in Jesus? He stood before the courts of man three times and each time he made reference to why he was there.
Acts 24:15 – – He referred to The Hope that he had from God.
Acts 26:6 – – – He declared The Hope of the Promised made by God to the fathers and says that it was for The Hope of Israel!
Remember back in Genesis 3:15 God’s promise that one day there would be the seed of a woman. The seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent! Remember? That appeared so remote that many did not truly believe it. That is all that Adam and Eve had, that promise! That is all mankind had, that promise! It was passed on from generation to generation!
Then, Abraham comes along and makes a further promise that one would come who would bless all the families of the earth. One who would be King of Kings and Lord of Lords! All they had were words and promises. They kept reading the Seed Catalog and then in Hebrews 11 we find that they all died in the faith but they kept looking ahead in Hope! They could declare ‘We know He is coming!’ They Hoped! Then in Jesus, He came! Paul declared,”That is why I am standing here today. I am declaring that Jesus is the Hope of Israel.”
Now that Jesus has come, He has taken up residence in us and in us He is the Hope of Glory! We do not have to wait generations for Him to come – He Has Come! Yet, multitudes of believers live ‘without hope’. They live in almost utter despair. They live in a vacuum!
Sadly, many view the Christian experience and life as: We’ve been Pardoned and Forgiven. Some even press in for a deeper relationship with God through the Holy Spirit and freeze there saying, “I’ve got it!” We somehow think that we’ve got it and there is nothing more. As time progresses the ‘it’ that we have drifts further and further back in our experience and we look back on it in fond memory but it is Back There!
There was a man that wrote down his religious experience and called it “My Blessed Experience”. He kept it in a box in the attic of his home. Anytime a visitor would come by he would bring it down and read it to them saying, “This is what happened to me.” Then one day a visitor came and he sent his daughter up to get his blessed experience so he could read it but she came down in a panic with terrible news – The rats had eaten his blessed experience!
A significant portion of the church is almost suicidal. Consider some of the songs of the church, some I no longer sing. I really don’t want to fly, fly away because I am enjoying this life in Christ and want to fulfill All that Christ has purposed for me to do In this Generation! Too many are looking for an ‘escape’ when we should be looking for the fulfillment of God’s purposes in our generation. Christ in us, the hope of glory! The Hope of Glory is in this life not the sweet by and by. The pardon that we received is to enable us to interact with God through the Holy Spirit Now!
When I first came to Jesus I would have been satisfied with just being Pardoned! But, as I have walked with Him and studied the Bible I now realize that everything God has promised is Mine! Yet, when I first came to Him I did not know what He had promised! God gives, and gives, and gives, and continues to give! We live in Hope!
May God be with you as you go through your day!