I read a comment this morning from a well known teacher. It is annoying me to me when complex and difficult concepts are boiled down to a one liner. The Bible says a lot about hope. We all know the scripture about hope being the substance of things not seen. How ’bout these?
1 Corinthians 15:19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
1 Peter 1:3 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,
Hope from the Book of Romans
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
I am coming up on two and a half years of open heart surgery. A difficult one where both cardiac valves were replaced and a Maze procedure performed. I was very sick afterwards. When the surgeon removed my heart from my chest and the by-pass machine kept me alive, I was changed. The surgeon held my heart in his hands. I cannot use the word “hope” glibly. My hope goes beyond a positive attitude (which believe you me is a tough one for me). Hope must, for me, be in the belief that I will live eternally with him. I’ve recently been given counsel that cardiac patients who have undergone similar surgeries have a kind of syndrome – similar set of responses towards life. He held my heart. So does Jesus. So, today, as I struggle with my diet, aching joints and irritable bowel (ugh!), I choose to believe in Him who holds my broken heart, beating with mechanical valves and a pacemaker, AND, my life in His Hands. Something better awaits me.