“The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search throughout his lifetime. He does not really know where he has been. He does not really know what he is doing here and now. He does not know where he is going.” – A.W. Tozer
The one leads to the other, doesn’t it?
If we are without faith, scripture says, we are without God! “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6). If we are without God, we are without hope also.
Paul asks the Ephesians to recall the their lives before they received the gospel. “Remember,” he writes, “at that at that time you were separate from Christ… without hope and without God in the world.” (Eph. 2:12)
We can live about 40 days without food, about 3 days without water, about 8 minutes without air – but without hope we don’t wish to live at all.
Even godless Nietzche noted, “He who has a why in life can bear with almost any how.”
What is your “why?” What motivates you to press on… and through…. and beyond? What is your driving hope?
This past Sunday at Lincoln Baptist Church Pastor Steve began a five part series entitled “A Christmas Journey.” He spoke of the angel Gabriel’s journey, a journey from Heaven to earth to bring a lost and dying humanity a message of hope.
The “Faint Hope Clause” was a means in Canadian law whereby a person having served at least 15 years of a 25yr to life sentence might possibly be paroled prior to their full completion of the term of incarceration. It was at best a slim chance, but a “hope” in any event.
The Christian’s “hope” is nothing like that. There is nothing uncertain about it to those who turn to Christ for salvation. “Hope does not disappoint us” (Rom 5:3b-5a), wrote Paul. It is based on the promise “confirmed by an oath” (Heb. 6:17) and nature “it is impossible for God to lie” (Heb. 6:18) of God. The author of Hebrews states: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Heb. 6:19) Like an anchor our hope, though fixed on the unseen, is fixed none-the-less.
Winter can be tough and grueling in the Maritimes, but we have this hope – Spring is coming! There is no uncertainty or doubt about it. It cannot snow all twelve months. We have the hope of spring.
The hope Christ brings is more like that. Not a “faint hope” clause, not Santa Claus, not a lottery draw, but a certainty to give us strength and courage as we await that day.
This is the hope the angel Gabriel announced! “Hey everyone, there’s a Spring!” “There’s a Saviour!” “There’s a Hope!”