Good Hope

Neuroscientist Tali Sharot argues that hope is so essential to our survival that it is hardwired into our brains, arguing it can be the difference between living a healthier life versus one trapped by despair. Further, Dr. Shane Lopez, the psychologist who was regarded as the world’s leading researcher on hope, claimed that hope isn’t just an emotion but an essential life tool.

In a documentary for the BBC, Shane Wisner writes, “In the Middle Ages the sea route to India seemed an impossibility. It was often discussed in the great economic and political centers of Europe. They used to wonder whether there would be a route around the bottom tip of Africa to that rich land of the spices. Many had tried and all had failed. The tip of Africa had become known as the Cape of Storms.

Then an explorer called Vasco da Gama decided he was going to try again. He succeeded. Ever since he returned to Lisbon it could never be doubted again that it could be done. He proved that to use that treacherous way wasn't inevitably disastrous. The Cape of Storms eventually became known as the Cape of Good Hope.”

As we enter the Easter season let us be reminded that Jesus faced the treacherous route that no one had ever successfully navigated. In doing so, He transformed the “Cape of Storm”—death and the grave, to the “Cape of Good Hope”—resurrection and life. It is the reason that Paul said, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:19–22)

Apart from Christ’s victory over the grave, we are pitiful people. But be grateful that the work of the cross did not end at the tomb. The resurrection is our hope forever. Peter spoke of this living hope in 1 Peter 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” The word hope in the Greek is not like the word hope in the English language where it refers to a wish or want… in the Greek it points to an outcome that is expected not wished for—like our victory over the grave through Christ. This is our eternal hope! So, no matter what happens around us, Christ is the hope within us. As Paul said to the Colossians, it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Jurgen Moltmann wrote, “Faith binds man to Christ. Hope sets this faith open to the comprehensive future of Christ. Hope is therefore the "inseparable companion" of faith. ... Without faith's knowledge of Christ, hope becomes a utopia and remains hanging in the air. But without hope, faith falls to pieces, becomes a faint-hearted and ultimately a dead faith. It is through faith that man finds the path of true life, but it is only hope that keeps him on that path.”

Christ, the cross, the resurrection—this is the reason for our hope (an expected outcome). Look out at the world and you’ll despair but look up at Christ and you’ll have hope.

And remember, God is always trying to take you someplace new. I love being your Pastor!

For God’s Glory Alone,
Pastor Ray

Image credit: Unsplash
Posted in
Posted in

No Comments