Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

10/02/2019

Randall Caselman

Peace In Biblical Hope

 

  Worldly hope is a wish based up on some fantastic odds; while Biblical Hope is a desire coupled with a genuine expectation of obtaining what's desired. Biblical Hope is the expectation, the anticipation, of something that is certain; certain because it is promised by God.

 

  Perhaps no New Testament writer gives us more insight into our hope than does Peter: "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--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls" (1Peter 1.3-9).

 

  It is a living hope. Church, our religion, our relationship with God, our expectation of forgiveness, and the hope of heaven are not based upon an occupied grave, upon a dead man, but upon a living Christ. Our hope is living because Jesus lives.

 

Because He lives – We can face tomorrow...

Because He lives all fear is gone...

Because we know He holds the future...

Life is worth the living – Just because He Lives.

 

  Hope is an inheritance. The Rich Young Ruler asked the question: "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Heaven is an inheritance. After giving us a description of Heaven, a voice from the throne room is heard saying: "He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son" Revelation 21.7). Peter says: "An inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade away." Heaven is forever!

 

  Our hope is twice guaranteed. Peter continues saying: "Both our hope and inheritance are kept, shielded, safeguarded, in heaven. He says: this "being kept" involves two things: The power of God, and our faith. The power of God safeguards our inheritance in heaven; our faith safeguards it here on earth: "Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 John 5.4). We safeguard our inheritance by maintaining our faith.

 

  Hope can be increased and strengthened by earthly trials and struggles. "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. For you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." Peter is saying that sometimes God uses suffering and trials to draw us into a closer, more intimate, walking, talking, hand-holding fellowship with Him and one another. Church, if God whispers to us in the good times, He speaks loudly in our trials. It’s in the tough times that we grow closer to Him and to one another. Jesus said: When life tumbles in, when times are tough: "Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me." Trust in Me. Have confidence (Hope) in Me. Expect Me to work in your life.

 

  I want you to know this: Life can be ugly, unhappy, gloomy, depressing, and uncertain, or life can be filled with joy, peace, happiness, contentment, and certainty. The difference is found in whether or not we are Living In Genuine Biblical Hope. We must decide!!!

 

  Let's close our thoughts with the words of Paul as he closes the book of Romans: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"  (Romans 15.13).

 

—Randall Caselman