Full Assurance of Hope.

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 6
“AND now, Lord, what wait I for?" asks David; but he tarries not for the reply. His own heart gives it—" My hope is in Thee," he instinctively and instantly cries.
What a hope! Is it ours? If so, shall we consider it in all its deep significance and its gracious bearings as revealed by the light of Christian doctrine? It is—
A blessed hope (Titus 2)—a crystal without a flaw, a rose without a thorn, a prospect without a cloud, a joy without a limit, a day without a night. "Blessed is the man whose hope is in the Lord" (Psa. 146). Blessed indeed. How can he be otherwise with such a hope?
A comforting hope (1 Thess. 4). It dries the tear of grief, smooths the pillow of pain, binds up the bereaved and broken heart, and brings sunshine into the darkened chamber, directing the heavy-eyed and desolate mourner from the gloomy bier to the Father's house of song and light. "Caught up together to meet the Lord." Sweet hope, whispering of reunion and of no separation.
A living hope (1 Peter 1:33Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Peter 1:3)). It is embodied in a person—"our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our hope" (1 Tim. 1:11Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; (1 Timothy 1:1)). Every promise must find its fulfillment in Him. We wait not for an event, nor are we occupied unduly with "the signs of the times," though "times and seasons" have their interest to the instructed saint. Our hope is a living One—the living Lord.
6. A heavenly hope (Eph. 1:1818The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, (Ephesians 1:18)). Heavenly because it is "laid up for us in heaven" (Col. 1:55For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; (Colossians 1:5)). The earthly "Deliverer comes out of Zion to turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Rom. 11), but ours comes "from heaven" (Phil. 3:2020For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (Philippians 3:20)). We, are a heavenly people, and our hearts are where our treasure is (Luke 12:3434For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:34)). Normally, we breathe and thrive in an altitude of bliss, and our lives reflect the heavenly color of the bright scene to which we belong.
7. A purifying hope. It forms us, morally, and makes us like the heavenly One (1 John 3:33And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1 John 3:3)). How testing! How practical! How conscience-searching! The hope of His return must govern us unless we "hold the truth in unrighteousness." How solemn! This hope is not a bit of sentiment to toy with, or to keep in lavender. Actions must accentuate words.
8. An intelligent hope (1 Peter 3:1515But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15)). We can "give a reason" for it. The study of it enlarges the soul's capacity to seize the purposes of God and His counsels as to Israel, the Church, and the world. "Divest the Bible of it, and the book becomes for the most part a mass of random and disintegrated chapters—a tangled thread of mysteries. Christ's second advent is the key to prophecy and the lamp which illuminates the page of past and future recondite history.
9. A stimulating hope. 1 Cor. 15 (last part) is not a funeral sermon suited only for the graveyard, but a quickening discourse for living saints, to rouse them to the activity of devoted life and service. "Your labor is not in vain in the Lord" is the pivot or climax of Paul's great defense of the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead which some in Corinth disputed.
10. A glorious hope (Rom. 5:22By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2); Col. 1:55For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; (Colossians 1:5)). There is but one advent or coming of the Lord, but it has two stages-first to the air (1 Thess. 4) and then to the earth (Zech. 14; Rev. 19). The believer's hope embraces both. Christ will go on "expecting till His enemies be made His footstool"(Heb. 10:1313From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (Hebrews 10:13)), and every loyal heart will share that hope. "His rest shall be glorious" (Isa. 11), and His rest shall be ours.
A patient hope (1 Thess. 1). We are now "in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ." Think of the inimitable patience of "the God of patience" and also of "the patience of Christ" (2 Thess. 3, margin). Thus, whilst breathing with ever-increasing longing the bridal cry, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus," let us cultivate at the same time "the patience of hope." What a touching expression! Ponder it well.
A loving hope (John 14). Its home is not in the head nor in the conscience, though both these are affected by it; but it is cradled in the heart-created and animated as it is by love to Christ. Someone has said, "A wife may not be able to keep her husband's ledger, but she can wait with loving heart for his home-coming." How true! We may know but little, but if we love the Lord we can wait for Him. When affection sleeps, the hope of His coming wanes; but when affection revives, it burns again and glistens, and charms with heavenly light and beauty. A revival of hope is produced by a revival of love. May the Lord bring about such a revival in the hearts of all His dear people!
"Our hearts take up Thy Church's Patmos cry,
Yearning for Thee and home;’
Come, Lord,' we sigh, and clear
Thy lips reply, Behold, I quickly come.'”
S. J. B. C.