21 Days of Prayer, Day 19
It has been said, “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air...but only for one second without hope.” The theme of hope runs throughout the New Testament. In the letter to the Hebrews, the author builds a case for the hope that we have in Jesus. In a beautifuly rich passage he blends images and allusions to the Old Testament together:
“...we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf...” (Hebrews 6:19-20).
We tend to think of hope as an emotion. We focus on the part of us that hopes. In the Bible, the emphasis of hope, however, is on the object of our hope. What is hoped for in this context is the promises of God which are sure to pass. This hope is more of a certainty in the promises of God than a feel good emotion.
Earlier in this chapter we read,
“we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12).
The promises of God include a present and future reality that we hope in. In the present we have Jesus as a great “high priest” who has already entered heaven and is preparing a place for us in the future while he is accessible to us to know and provide support in the present.
Elsewhere in a passage I love, there’s a reference to our “blessed hope.”
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14).
My greatest hope provides “hope” in my present but it is a hope that is future. Someday, Jesus, will return. “The appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” is a certainty. It may be tomorrow. It may be after my lifetime and yours. Either way as a person he gave himself “to redeem” and “to purify for himself” I am inspired by this hope to do good works in the present.
- That the certainty of God’s promises for a future where you and the world are fully restored would make you “zealous for good works” in the present.
- That Harvest would become a church that serves others in our community in such a way that people are intrigued by the source and object of our hope.
- That our love for Jesus would show in our love for others.