In North America, Easter comes in the spring as the new year dawns. The grass is green, and flowers are beginning to bloom. It is so refreshing after the long night of winter. It is the season of everlasting hope worldwide. Easter, and let us not get caught up in religious scandals that lay claim to the name, but rather let us appreciate the whole point…hope. For one who is going through the most desperate time, hope allows one to stay the course and not give up. Even when things are going well, there should be hope for the future, a good future for one’s children and grandchildren.
The thing that is so special about Easter is it fulfills the hope in the Messiah, complete in the coming, resurrection, and proof of life after death in this world. No matter what, existence will be better in the invisible kingdom that is just a breath away.
Different Kinds of Hope
There are different kinds of hope. Basic hope, that hope which is found in the human spirit, is internal. Basic hope is not tied to any outside promise made by another being or belief. There is the reality of false hope, trusting in an external lie, an unscrupulous person, or misrepresentation. One would be remiss not to acknowledge the condition of no hope. Some, no, many people suffer from this debilitating state of mind. Many bad family issues arise from disappointment in a close member. A child can be embarrassed by bad parental behavior that their relationships are damaged forever unless there is some type of intervention. Embarrassment can be so severe that it grows into rejection and then bitterness. Bitterness and unforgiveness can cause both physical and mental health problems. The stress can compromise the body to the point it cannot self-protect from ravages of disease, even cancer. Disenchantment acts much the same way, except it makes one into a recluse and destroys a good healthy social component of life. Now disillusionment is quite dark. This disorder burns bridges, and left unchecked, it can lead to the ultimate destruction in the form of suicide. The thing is, all these maladies intertwine and exhibit similar symptoms and conclude in interchangeable outcomes. Hope is a good treatment, living hope is the remedy, and faith is the delivery system. Living hope…not obtainable but available to anyone who is drawn to accept it. More on that in a little bit.
1) to hope or desire something anticipating its fruition; to desire something to be true
2) act of being optimistic; trust
3) have expectations that a desire will be fulfilled
4) having confidence in a good outcome
There is a hope birthed by faith, and in context, it is described by many adjectives and adverbs. Hope can be both a verb and a noun. This essay’s outrageous proposition is to say that there is an even higher level of hope, something called living hope. Basic hope has a ceiling or maximum height. It can be discouraged, and it can be destroyed; however, living hope cannot be destroyed. It cannot be discolored by disillusionment, disenchantment, disappointment, or bitterness. Living Hope will not get old, and it cannot die because it resides in the resurrection.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;John 11:25 NIV
Yes, this living hope resides in Jesus.
The term being born-again gets a pretty bad rap from many people. It is simply because, to them, this phenomenon is defined by the behavior of people who claim such and do not act as such. However, consider the beauty of the living hope by dying to the old hope and entering into a new one by faith in Jesus. Then one now abides in the resurrection, even that wonderful Kingdom of God. The Hebrew prophet called the faithful children of Israel “prisoners of hope.” (Zechariah 9:12) Their hope was that Messiah would come. For the most part, they did not catch on to the living hope that their rightful promise was available to them first. The thing is, for something to be living, it must be born. For hope to be living, it must be born. During the time of Jesus, the contemporary children of Israel were looking for a promise, not a personal inheritance. To be fair, God says that He blinded His people for the benefit of those not physically born to Israel so that they might be made part of the family too. The eternal God loves a contrast. He had to be born a human to become the resurrection, and humans must be reborn into the spirit to have eternal life through the resurrection.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV
Another type of hope must be considered…false hope. It is the hope that arises from empty promises or inconsistent behavior. Backdoor politics, say one thing, do another, is a fertile breeding ground for false hope. Trusting a conman’s promise, a speech, or baseless actions will create false hope. A conman is defined as one who cheats or tricks someone by gaining their trust and persuading them to believe something that is not true. Synonyms of the con are fake, sham, imposter, charlatan, racketeer, double-dealer, and phony. False hope can grow into no hope at all. Protect yourself, for it is written: “Be wise and be innocent”. (Matthew 10:6) Remember that just because a behavior or action short of the living hope worked out for another person does not guarantee a consistent outcome for all.
Life Is Not Always Perfect
The reality is that this life is not always perfect. Bad things happen, and innocent people get caught in the middle. Long-term suffering often occurs, and injustice abounds. How is it one can trust God and have hope in Him when all this stuff happens? The answer rests in the living hope, the idea that the life we know is not the total picture. The concept that in comprehensive life, there is more to come after this thing we now experience. Paul pleaded the hope in the resurrection when put on trial for preaching the Good News. The marvelous proposition that people can be reconciled with God through Jesus. Paul did not always have a smooth path. He had been stoned, he had been flogged, he had been shipwrecked, thrown into prison, and bitten by a poisonous snake. He was not deterred but lived life to the full…he had living hope. Paul’s life ended being led to a stump and beheaded. Yet, he faced execution with anticipation and steadfast knowledge of a wonderful life to come.
Paul was born into this living hope. He was convinced that nothing could happen; no power nor created thing could separate him from the love of God. It was his nature because he had been reborn into the living hope. Just think, Paul was reborn into his old family, and every old and new member of that family has an inheritance, a birthright greater than their promise. All people everywhere have equal access to this eternal treasure through Jesus Christ. Imagine riches beyond measure “that can never perish, spoil or fade.” The vital issue is inheritance cannot be claimed until the patron dies. Jesus, the Messiah, took care of that prerequisite at the cross and died. Is it not wonderful that the one who had full inheritance rose again and creates in us the living hope that we too will rise again?
Someday, those born into the living hope will witness all in heaven bow down, even the angels.
“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that is in them, will say, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.”Revelation 7:11-12 NIV
The first step is to simply ask God for the living hope. The Father will draw you into a steadfast relationship if you are sincere with this simple request. Blessed be His Name.
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