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by Brian Flewelling on October 24, 2023
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Romans 8:23
It’s easy to see evil and injustice in the world and lose hope. I believe that’s because we’ve mistakenly put our hope in good things that are the wrong hope. We can hope for revival. That’s a good thing, but the wrong hope. We can hope that the right candidate gets elected or that our loved one is healed. Again, these aren’t wrong to pursue or wrong to desire, but they are not the source of our hope.
The Bible says you can have “vain hope.” Vain hope is when we place our hope in a circumstance or a person. That is always a wobbly foundation for Biblical hope. God may not show up the way you thought, and people will let you down.
Our hope source is in God’s character
Biblical hope is built on the immovable foundation of God’s character. Psalm 33:18-19 says, “the eyes of the Lord are on those…whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death.” God’s faithful love is unchanging. He has proven his goodness, and he promises to never abandon us. God may not rescue us from afflictions and suffering (yet), but he promises to walk with us through every fire and flood. His faithful, loving companionship is steadfast. That is our hope.
Our hope is in what Jesus has already done
God has proved his faithful love once and for all. If my heart is truly inclined towards him, my inadequacies, sins, and incompetencies can never remove me from relationship with my heavenly Father. His patience and compassion towards me is steadfast. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God is not dissatisfied with you because of your failures; he calls you his child and invites you into his joy and friendship despite your failures. That is a fact of history written on the cross.
Our hope is in the eternal reality to come
The resurrection of Jesus Christ stands as a timeless promise that no matter how terrific our sin and turmoil, God’s goodness has the final word. Here’s an excerpt from the closing pages of the Bible:
“then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ’Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” ~Revelation 21:1,3-5
That is the immovable hope of the eternal Church.
Your Father is bigger than your failures. He’s also bigger than the darkness in the world. The world is full of evil and injustice, and it’s going to get much worse. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray and labor for God’s good ‘kingdom to come.’ But even if your labors appear to be impotent, don’t get discouraged in the moment. Your hope isn’t in the present circumstance changing for the better, but rather in God’s unshakable future redemption! Nothing can divorce you from the perfection of God’s enduring love today or his promise of future redemption. Nurse your spirit on his infallible words, “I am making everything new.”
Tags: resurrection, hope, trials, eternal life, circumstances, god's steadfast love, vain hope, love, cross, acceptance, false hope
Brian serves as the Equipping Pastor at Petra. Brian also serves as part of the Sunday morning teaching team. You may also hear him teaching in various other ministry settings, using his Bible study and teaching gifts to bless others.
Before coming on staff at Petra in 2010, Brian and his wife Kristina served as missionaries for four years with Eagles’ Wings Ministry in Clarence, NY. Brian has a BA in Biblical Studies and studied at Jerusalem University College in Israel for a semester.
The Flewellings are thrilled with their three children: Ariana, Sophia, and Elliot. When not involved in ministry or family life, Brian enjoys hiking, reading, and relaxing with friends.
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