I was at the airport the other day, headed home. I checked my bag, went through security, found my gate, sat down until my plane arrived, and then waited for the plane to fully board and takeoff. Lines, layovers, and the whole flight I waited to get where I wanted to be. Obviously, a part of the airport and flying experience is waiting. It felt a bit like life here on this earth, a bunch of people hoping to get somewhere else and do something else.
Through this experience, I realized something about life. Hope deals with something in the future, but it sure does influence the present. If you are flying to see your grandkids, you sure are cheery. If someone is flying to a business conference, it’s a somewhat mundane experience. If you are flying to a friend’s funeral, mourning comes along. This happens whether we are aware of it or not.
Where I am traveling to, invades the current moment. Where my hope is for the future, it affects my here and now perspective. So where is my hope? What is hope? Our English language has different perspectives on hope. The modern meaning of hope “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire.” However, the more biblical idea of hope is a “certainty, a strong and confident expectation.”
I easily get them mixed up. I often begin to put my hope in things that cannot sustain and will let me down. Things like blue birds and sunshine, and the hope that life will just be zip-i-dee-doo-da, without trial and struggles. It is not bad to want these things! Heck, who wants to be sick, make F’s on tests, and be sad all the time? Yet, inevitably, I find myself eventually anxious, depressed, and frustrated when these hopes don’t work out. When my hope is placed in this world, it feels and looks hopeless.
So often I hear us Christians depressed and discouraged at the terrible state of our nation, our world, and our churches,and the next generation. Watching the news gives me immediate frustration. Then I think. Hello!? Duh. The world at this point is a messy. It is filled with brokenness and sin. The world is in need of a savior.
I am blessed to be friends with all kinds of people, believers and non-believers. My life in just the past month has been overwhelmed with a lot of hopeless stories. Of disease, abuse, self-hatred, and brokenness. They are friends that don’t have hope anymore. They don’t even want to live. But. As Christians! We get real hope. That is a BIG deal. It is a game changer. When our hope is in Christ, it is in something that will not change. It does not fail. It does not waver.. It is consistent. His promises are not broken. This hope does not disappoint. In Jeremiah 33:17 we hear that “the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
This is where my hope is placed, in the Kingdom of God. In a God that is good and great. In God that sees this earth, knows our pain, and has plan for a grand future. Hope in our Lord now gives us peace rather than fear. It gives us joy. It gives us security. It changes how we see ourselves and others. I then see the world as a place that there is hope for. I like life with hope. It is a treasure.
Yet, so often I ignore the hope I have. I forget where my hope gets to be, and I lean it up real nicely on the economy and weather. Things that are not consistent.
Now, is it wrong to be affected by boo-hoo life things? I think not! Life is hard. Sometimes it will feel hopeless. However, thankfully as son or daughter of Jesus, it does not have to. We choose what to place our hope in. In this Christmas season, I want to remember that my hope is not in this world and days are coming, when the Lord will fulfill his good promise.