2020 Hope (5 Jan 2020)

The usual use of the word, ‘hope’ evokes a feeling of uncertainty.   For instance, we might say at the beginning of a new year, ‘There are so many uncertainties in the political scene, both globally (trade war) and locally (impending General Election).  Nonetheless I hope that the new year will be a year of peace.’  So our general understanding of hope is one heavily couched in uncertainty.

But Christian hope described in the Bible, is something that is sure and certain.  If God has promised something will take place, it will bound to take place.  It is definite.   2 Cor. 1:20, ‘For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. . . .’

In 1 Th. 4, Paul encouraged the believers that one day, all dead believers will be bodily resurrected.  Paul introduced his subject in vs. 13 by saying, 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

Paul’s teaching is not that we should not grieve, but that we should not grieve as others who do not have hope.  Why?  Because we have the kind of hope that is certain.  As in this case, our certain hope is that the dead in Christ will be raised.

In 1 Peter 1:3, Peter raised by two facts.  Firstly, he amplifies that what we have is not just a hope, but a living hope.  Such a hope brims with certainty because it is a living hope.  Secondly, it is a living hope ‘through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’  The logic is that we have a living hope because, we have a living Saviour.

We may not know what 2020 may be like.  But our Christian certain hope in God is that He has the very best mapped out for us.  Consider the line, ‘This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!’ in the song, ‘Because He lives.’  Bill and Gloria wrote this song at the birth of their third child, during a season of anxiety and mental anguish.  Gloria wondered how she was going to cope with another child.

It was on a new year’s eve, bogged down with agony, anxiety and fear that she suddenly and unexpectantly was filled with a gentle, calming peace.  She testified, it was as if her heavenly Father, like an attentive mother bending over her baby, saw her child and came to her rescue. She was assured that ‘this child can face uncertain days because He lives!

You and I too can face the uncertainties of 2020, because our hope is a living hope, anchored on the One Who lives.

 

Elder Richard Lai