* Hope comes from seeing God’s perspective
These verses show what God meant when he said he is slow to anger. Even if the Israelites chose to disobey and were scattered among their enemies, God would still give them the opportunity to repent and return to him. His purpose was not to destroy them, but to help them grow. Our day-to-day experiences and hardships are sometimes overwhelming; unless we can see that God’s purpose is to bring about continual growth in us, we may despair. The hope we need is well expressed in Jeremiah: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.’ ” To retain hope while we suffer shows we understand God’s merciful ways of relating to his people. (NLT)
Leviticus 26:40-45 – “But at last my people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors for betraying me and being hostile toward me. Finally, when I have given full expression to my hostility and have brought them to the land of their enemies, then at last their disobedient hearts will be humbled, and they will pay for their sins. Then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, with Isaac, and with Abraham, and I will remember the land. And the land will enjoy its years of Sabbath rest as it lies deserted. At last the people will receive the due punishment for their sins, for they rejected my regulations and despised my laws.
“But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out. I, the Lord, am their God. I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of Egypt while all the nations watched. I, the Lord, am their God.”
* Hope in the midst of crisis
Jairus’s crisis made him feel confused, afraid, and without hope. Jesus’ words to Jairus in the midst of crisis speak to us as well: “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.” In Jesus’ mind, there was both hope and promise. The next time you feel hopeless and afraid, look at your problem from Jesus’ point of view. He is the source of all hope and promise. (NLT)
Mark 5:35-36 – While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from Jairus’s home with the message, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But Jesus ignored their comments and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.”
* Our ultimate hope when we are experiencing terrible illness, persecution, or pain is the realization that this life is not all there is–there is life after death! Knowing that we will live forever with God in a place without sin and suffering can help us live above the pain that we face in this life. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 4:18 – So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
* Hope in Jesus always rewarded
Beggars often waited along the roads near cities, because that was where they were able to contact the most people. Usually disabled in some way, beggars were unable to earn a living. Medical help was not available for their problems, and people tended to ignore their obligation to care for the needy. Thus, beggars had little hope of escaping their degrading way of life. But this blind beggar took hope in the Messiah. He shamelessly cried out for Jesus’ attention, and Jesus said that his faith allowed him to see. No matter how desperate your situation may seem if you call out to Jesus in faith, he will help you. (NLT)
Luke 18:35 – As they approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road.
* Misguided hopes about Jesus
The people who were praising God for giving them a king had the wrong idea about Jesus. They were sure he would be a national leader who would restore their nation to its former glory, and thus, they were deaf to the words of their prophets and blind to Jesus’ real mission. When it became apparent that Jesus was not going to fulfill their hopes, many people turned against him. (NLT)
John 12:13 – took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”
* Why hope is a key to the Christian life
Satan seemed to be victorious in the Garden of Eden and at the cross of Jesus. But God turned Satan’s apparent victory into defeat when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Thus, death is no longer a source of dread or fear. Christ overcame it, and one day we will also. The law will no longer make sinners out of us just because we cannot keep it. Death has been defeated, and we have hope beyond the grave. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 15:54-56 – When this happens–when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die–then at last the Scriptures will come true: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.
* How hope helps us live now
Paul had reason to forget the past–he had held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. We have all done things for which we are ashamed, and we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don’t dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with him now. Realize that you are forgiven and then move on to a life of faith and obedience. Look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of your hope in Christ. (NLT)
Philippians 3:13-14 – No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
* Hope the antidote for boredom
Hope keeps the Christian from becoming lazy or feeling bored. Like an athlete, train hard and run well, remembering the reward that lies ahead. (NLT)
Hebrews 6:11-12 – Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and patience.
* Hope because God is in control of history
Revelation closes human history as Genesis opened it–in paradise. But there is one distinct difference in Revelation–evil is gone forever. Genesis describes Adam and Eve walking and talking with God; Revelation describes people worshiping God face to face. Genesis describes a garden with an evil serpent; Revelation describes a perfect city with no evil. The Garden of Eden was destroyed by sin; but paradise is re-created in the new Jerusalem.
The book of Revelation ends with an urgent plea: “Come, Lord Jesus!” In a world of problems, persecution, evil, and immorality, Christ calls us to endure in our faith. Our efforts to better our world are important, but their results cannot compare with the transformation that Jesus will bring about when he returns. He alone controls human history, forgives sin, and will re-create the earth and bring lasting peace.
Revelation is, above all, a book of hope. It shows that no matter what happens on earth, God is in control. It promises that evil will not last forever. And it depicts the wonderful reward that is waiting for all those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (NLT)
Revelations 22:21 – The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.
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