Living with Hope
Key Verse: “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
THE SCRIPTURES TELL US that we have been purchased by our Lord Jesus, and consequently we should be filled with faith and hope. Paul tells us, “Ye are not your own.” (I Cor. 6:19) We belong to Christ, as further shown in the words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27) If Christ is in us, and we truly desire to serve and please him and our Heavenly Father, we should let our light shine, so that our walk with Christ is seen by others. Our goal should be “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”—Matt. 5:16
The complete desire of our hearts and minds, which is a vital part of our hope, should be to serve the true and living God through serving the cause of his son. “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Col. 3:24) If we do this, then we will truly be part of the body of Christ, and beloved in his sight. John tells us this in I John 3:2,3, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” These verses point out to us the wondrous nature of our hope. Paul also identifies us as “heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”—Tit. 3:7
John’s words—“every man that hath this hope purifieth himself”—mean that we must maintain an attitude of heart, mind, and life desirous of always pleasing God, for he has “called us with an holy calling.” (II Tim 1:9) To be faithful to this “holy calling” necessitates our keeping thoughts, motives, and actions as pure as possible. It requires that we possess a heart condition that is founded upon pure and holy intentions. Thus, we are not to serve God with a heart of wrath toward others, but with a heart filled with love, compassion, peace, and hope. Paul gave evidence of a proper desire toward others, when he said, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”—I Tim. 2:8
Our Key Verse says that God has appointed us “to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” With the Word of God as our guide, we are able to go forth with songs of praise upon our lips—praise to God for his love in sending Jesus to be the Redeemer and Savior of the world. We give praise for the divine wisdom which has designed such a loving plan of salvation, “that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” (John 5:23) We also render praise for divine justice which, being satisfied by the ransom merit, has made it possible to have our Adamic sins washed away by the blood of the Redeemer.
We have been privileged to know God’s loving plan as it is centered in Christ Jesus, the Redeemer. We rejoice that the Spirit of God has authorized us to be witnesses of Jesus, and that we are commissioned to tell the plan of God to others. Truly, our hopes are for those invited to be joint-heirs with Jesus in the spiritual phase of his kingdom. We also have the glorious hope of a “restitution of all things” for all mankind during Christ’s coming kingdom.—Acts 3:19-21