This weekend as I sat in the airport waiting to return to Kansas City, I glanced briefly at the monitor where worldwide news was being broadcast. Across the bottom of the screen streamed the following: “American troops deployed to Iraq. Russia continues to participate in civil unrest in Ukraine. Heightened security needed for potential terrorist threats.” Line after line, the broadcast continued. I then looked around to observe others’ reaction to the latest updates. It was evident the “news” was TMI—too much information! What producers thought would be “interesting and important”, only increased the viewer’s anxiety and robbed them of their peace of mind. What is, however, newsworthy is that, as believers, we have a “living hope” (1 Pet. 1:3) that transcends even the worst newscast.
The New Testament writers, unlike our modern news producers, had the unique opportunity to encourage new believers who were facing persecution and distress as a result of their new faith. It was hope—their hope in God—that would sustain the followers of The Way during their difficult times. The writer of Hebrews depicted hope as an anchor—an object that would illustrate God’s attachment to them. This anchor was “sure and steadfast”. Sure is interpreted to mean something that can be relied upon; steadfast continues this thought of God’s hope adding the descriptors of trustworthy, firm and secure. The anchor represented the object of their faith—Jesus Christ, who had secured their position for eternity—past, present and future.
Hope in God continues to be the message that will sustain us today in these troubling times. With the changing political and social terrain, it is comforting to know we can totally depend and rely upon God. Our hope is based on the immutability of His word (Heb. 6:17-18), the certainty of His promise (Rom. 4:16) and the assurance of His presence (Rom. 15:13). It is this hope that gives us confidence and the ability to persevere. Our hope in God will help us to remain “sure and steadfast” unto the end (Heb. 3:14).
Good to the Last Byte…
Hope in the Old Testament pointed to the promised Messiah (Luke 2:25-26) and the provision for man’s redemption (Luke 2:36-38). The New Testament hope is more “eschatological” , in that it is concerned with the final events in the history of the world and life after death. Hope in God becomes the security on which believers can place their trust and confidence TODAY. “Happy is the one whose hope is in the Lord” (Ps. 146:5).