And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Today’s big question: what is our hope?
We saw in the previous devotional that faith is essential for every Christian. As we explore the second of the “big three” from today’s passage, a logical order becomes apparent. Hope follows faith, since our hope naturally springs from faith: “For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith” (Galatians 5:5).
But what is true hope? We often use this word in daily conversation to describe something that we would like to happen but are uncertain whether it will actually occur. For example, I hope the economy improves, and I hope I don’t get sick this week, but neither of these “hopes” has any real certainty. This common idea of “hope” is very different from what the Apostle Peter wrote: he called it “a living hope,” which is “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Even in the face of death, Christians have “a living hope” of eternal life. Our hope is far greater than just a “wish” or “desire”; it is a sure expectation based on the word of Christ (John 11:25). We live now “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2). Since God cannot lie, our hope cannot be in vain. Therefore, “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
Hope is our assurance of salvation, a critical piece of our spiritual armor. Believers must put on “as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8) in order to wage spiritual warfare effectively for our King, Jesus Christ. He has forged our helmet of salvation through His Word, by His Spirit, and tempered it with His blood. Nothing can shake our firm hope of eternal life.
The resurrected Lord is our hope and the hope of all creation:
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we . . . groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8:22–25)
As with faith, a day is coming when hope will no longer be necessary. Our hope will be confirmed, fulfilled, and realized in Jesus Christ when He comes.
Today’s big idea: Jesus Christ is our sure hope of salvation.
What to pray: ask the Lord for confidence and boldness based in biblical hope.