Over the last few months we have been considering the subject of hope. Hope is an essential component of meaningful life, but it is important to ask questions about the nature of our hope. On previous occasions we noted that our hopes must be reliable and based on fact rather than fantasy, and they also need to be realistic to guard us against disappointment and frustration. Another pointer also needs to be established: Is our hope worthwhile?
What if our hopes were realized? If our dreams came to pass, would we be happy? Have you ever made an eagerly anticipated purchase that didn’t turn out as you hoped, that caused you heartbreak rather than happiness? Perhaps you looked forward to a special holiday destination, but the experience left you flat and disappointed. It is important that our hopes relate to genuine happiness and fulfillment. As the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once put it: “There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.”
Is the Christian hope worthwhile?
In the centre of the concentration camp at Dachau in Germany, the first one to be established by the Nazis, is a memorial to the thousands of victims who perished there. The memorial contains an inscription in five languages declaring the simple message ‘Never again’. That simple message expresses the hope that never again would such atrocities occur in our world. However, such instances of man’s inhumanity to his fellow men have taken place in the decades since the end of the Second World War.
But it will be different with the realization of the Christian hope. The blessed hope of the Christian faith, the glorious return of Jesus, will usher in a kingdom of truth, justice and righteousness. Note these wonderful words of hope. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, sadness, crying or pain, because all the old ways are gone.” (Revelation 21:4, New Century Version) “But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13) Never again will there be injustice, violence, killing, abuse, and exploitation in human experience. What a worthwhile hope!
I look forward to the day when there will be no more heartache, pain and suffering, and I encourage you to embrace this wonderful hope as well. May the hope of the Christian faith based on Jesus and His promises strengthen, comfort and encourage you in your daily lives.