An Enduring Hope
The Coronavirus is ravaging the world this year. All the fun family activities of the first week or two faded. Instead, we're left in the murky middle where patience wore thin and we all felt a little stuck. Now, we’re moving into stages of “reopening” the world. Recommendations change by the moment and everyone seems to have an opinion.
In this season of mandated face coverings, social distancing, and debates about church services, it has become increasingly easy to let fear rule the day. Set against our particularly challenging times, the hope of the gospel shines especially bright.
Our hope is not a wish cast into the dark. Instead, our hope is confident assurance in the person and plan of God. This hope motivates and produces the character of our lives amid suffering. Consider these three anchors for our hope:
We have hope because of the unchanging nature of God
Our hope of not being consumed by trials rests in God’s immutability: he does not change (Malachi 3:6). Scripture tells us over and over about God’s faithfulness to his promises and his people. It asserts that just as God remained faithful to Israel in Egypt, the wilderness, and the Promised Land, he will remain faithful to us.
Human history has told the same story. Just as God sustained and grew his church in the face of Black Death, world wars, and religious persecutions through the ages, he will sustain and grow his church today. We have hope because our God does not change, he has promised our good, and he has been fulfilling that promise to his people for ages.
We have hope because of the Resurrection
Christ came, lived a perfect life, died a brutal death, and then rose from the grave. He pronounced his victory over sin, Satan, and death. This instills a hope that cannot be thwarted in all those who would trust him.
1 Peter tells us that we have a new birth into “a living hope through the resurrection” (1:3). Our Hope is living and seated on the throne, and his name is Jesus. He is ruling and reigning now, and he is coming back!
As believers, we have hope because the grave could not hold our Savior. Because of our union with him, sealed by the Holy Spirit, the grave won’t have a final victory over us either. In the face of pandemics, persecution, peril, and death, our hope in Christ remains. He has conquered. We are his. And in him, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). We have a hope that has overcome and our hope is Christ. Because his resurrection is true, our future is sure. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee and he enables us to endure.
We have hope because a New Creation is coming.
Based on the resurrection of Christ, we have hope of a future resurrection into a New Creation (2 Peter 3:13). There Christ’s reign will be fully realized and this world’s troubles will not find a home.
On that day, death, sickness, sorrow, pandemics, persecution, temptation, sin, and Satan will be no more. In that New Creation, we will be gathered to worship with God’s people always, with no threat of harm, forevermore (see Revelation 21).
The promise of this restoration gives us hope as we look to a day we can’t yet imagine but we anticipate with wonder.
Hope Produces Endurance
Many of us have never faced anything like we have this year. Some are overcome with fear and wonder how they will ever feel comfortable again. Others are grieving deep losses alone because the same virus that took their loved ones has also kept their comforters away. Still others are walking deep into loneliness and depression they can’t see their way out of. Even those who don’t think this is a “big deal” have their entire lives changed right now. Everyone has a story.
The Christian’s hope is in a God who always keeps his promises, in a risen Savior who is ruling and reigning and coming again. It is in the Spirit who comforts, and a New Creation that is right now being prepared. This hope both motivates and produces our endurance in a season of suffering.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 says, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (emphasis added). Our hope in Christ spurs us on to endure and to suffer patiently as countless Christians before us have and unknown multitudes after us will until Christ returns.
A Cycle of Hope
We are indeed stuck in this season. But unlike the world around us that is stuck in a cycle of frustrated plans and fear-filled anguish, we can be stuck in a cycle of hope. The hope of the resurrection produces endurance. Endurance in the face of suffering produces hope (Romans 5:3–4). And so the cycle continues.
Someday we will no longer require hope or endurance, for we will see Christ and all our longings will be answered. Until that day, we press on, patiently enduring, entrusting our souls to a faithful Creator, and watching with expectation for how he will work both in us and in the world.
Hope indeed is sure because Christ is ours forevermore!
Meet the author
Katie Deckert is a wife and mother to two children. She is passionate that women everywhere would open their hearts and homes to others as they live out the gospel’s radical welcome. She writes about Christian living and hospitality at her blog Hospitable Homemaker.