Author: John A. Witmer
Week of April 22, 2018
A husband, wife, and their grown son immigrated from Sicily to southern Illinois, where the two men worked in a coal mine. An explosion killed the father and maimed the son. While he was recovering in the hospital, he and his mother trusted Jesus Christ as their Saviour. They changed their surname to Sperondeo—“My hope is in God.” This was his inspiration to complete college and graduate study and become a college professor. His name was the motto of his life.
This should be the motto of every child of God. In every disheartening circumstance of life, the Christian, like the psalmist, should repeat the refrain, “Put your hope in God” (Ps. 42:5, 11; 43:5). God “in His great mercy...has given us new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3; cf. vv. 13, 21). For this reason Paul stated that for believers the Lord is “the God of hope” (Rom. 15:13). Hope, a feeling that what one desires will happen, is native to human experience. Without hope all desire to live departs.
Hope in the spiritual sense, however, is different. It is found only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hope of acceptance by God apart from faith in Christ is just wishful thinking. Paul described the Gentiles as “separate from Christ” and “without hope” (Eph. 2:12).
“Through our Lord Jesus Christ,” on the other hand, we who trust in Him “have peace with God...access by faith into this grace” and we “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:12). This is “the hope held out in the Gospel” (Col. 1:23).
Our faith makes this hope sure and certain (Heb. 11:1). In this life, however, we have not experienced this hope. As Paul explained, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Rom. 8:24-25). As a believer your hope of spending eternity in heaven conformed to the image of Jesus Christ is “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Heb. 6:19). Through the indwelling Holy Spirit this hope can enable you to survive the storms of life and to “overflow with hope.”
For you: Keep looking to the Lord in trust so that you may enjoy this hope.