I drive by a billboard every day on my way to drop of my boys at school. It’s a picture of a cancer treatment center logo with a woman and says “Now I have hope.”
Yet hope in a thing or person or circumstance is dead hope. Everything is temporary, even a cure for cancer. We, along with everything else on earth are finite and will one day wither and fade.
A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
- Isaiah 40:6-8
The only living hope is the hope God offers us through Jesus. The prophecy in Isaiah reminds us that nothing but the Word of God will stand for eternity. John the Baptist quotes Isaiah as he prepares the way for Jesus, the Living Word.
“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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
- 2 Corinthians 1 : 3-9
I know intellectually I put my hope in Jesus, but practically, what does my life say? Depending on the day, my hope can shift from living to dead. Hope in my own ability to do well. Hope in my marriage. Hope in my children’s achievements. Hope in my skinny pants fitting...or more realistically, hope in how that plate of loaded nachos will taste. Hope in my ability to budget and plan and make all the things happen. None of those are bad things, per se, but my joy and assurance cannot rest in them. They are dead pursuits. What do your actions say you put your hope in?
Confess to Jesus He is your living hope and ask for strength to keep an eternal perspective. There is grace enough to cover all our misplaced hope. After all, that’s why he defeated death for us!