There Is Hope

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
From the moment of our birth, hope is a necessary part of our existence, and without it tragedy ensues. The headline news today tells of a famous female singer who committed suicide, leaving two children, the younger being a boy of only ten months. The father took his life a month ago. While we do not know the particulars that led to this terrible tragedy, we may well consider what hope is ours that would keep us focused on the real meaning of life. Do we have reason to give up hope? Are any circumstances so bad that God cannot make it work out for good? Since the beginning, when sin came into our world, God has always set hope before man. He promised that the woman’s seed would bruise the serpent’s (Satan’s) head (Gen. 3:1515And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)). This hope has been made secure through the Lord Jesus Christ. He lived the perfect exemplary life of dependence and obedience to God, even unto death. The human race, once doomed to die without hope, now has a bright outlook through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Blessed 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).
“Thou Didst Make Me Hope”
In Psalm 22 we read of the thoughts and feelings that the Lord Jesus had towards God as He contemplated being forsaken on the cross. He refers back to the time of His birth when as a babe He trusted in God: “Thou art He that took Me out of the womb: Thou didst make Me hope when I was upon My mother’s breasts. I was cast upon Thee from the womb: Thou art My God from My mother’s belly” (Psa. 22:9-109But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. 10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly. (Psalm 22:9‑10)). There we see complete dependence upon God from His beginning as a Man. Among all the creatures God created, newborn humans are the most dependent on their parents for survival. From His birth, the Lord always trusted in God, and He never ceased trusting God, even in the face of death. He died trusting. He was resigned to whatever answer God gave, and He promised to praise God in company with His brethren who would be the beneficiaries with Him. “Save Me from the lion’s mouth: for Thou hast heard Me from the horns of the unicorns. I will declare Thy name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee” (Psa. 22:21-2221Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. 22I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. (Psalm 22:21‑22)). He felt the awful judgment, yet how perfectly He obeyed in spite of all. The answer to His prayer came in resurrection, and according to the words of the psalm, the corresponding response of praise to God was to be for all who fear the Lord to rehearse with Him. God was bound to honor such faith and obedience. The Lord Jesus has broken the bands of death and given hope to the human race. No circumstance can separate the elect and called from God’s blessing, not even death. The eighth chapter of Romans develops this theme, and in it hope is mentioned seven times. We are saved in hope and have every reason to hope to the end.
“Hope Thou in God”
In Psalm 42 we have another example of how the Lord Jesus kept hope before Him while passing under the waters of judgment. The psalm says, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (vs. 5). When a righteous soul is suffering, the question logically arises, Why is it so? This feeling is not wrong in itself, but doubts or distrust in God should never be allowed. When we feel suffering and pain, it is right to pray and groan, but complaining and looking elsewhere for help is wrong. The psalm goes on to recall the enjoyment of God’s blessings, which leads the psalmist to rebuke the despondency and to hope in God. The last verse of the psalm repeats the same words with one small change that seems to make it an expression of resolve to “hope in God,” the ONE “who is the health of my countenance.” The despondency is gone and occupation with the One who is the health of his countenance is everything.
Hope to the End
When the Lord Jesus was delivered up and crucified, He perfectly demonstrated this confidence in God in the face of Satan’s taunts. We read how the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, said, “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God” (Matt. 27:4343He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. (Matthew 27:43)). This was the ultimate test of fidelity. It is one thing to trust God when things are going well, but this was Satan’s hour and the power of darkness, yet the Lord Jesus never swerved from perfection. The result of this obedience unto death is that God raised Him from the dead; the Lord broke the bands of death and darkness and brought life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel, that we who have fled to Him for refuge might lay hold upon the hope set before us. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children  ...  pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things  ...  but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Peter 1:13-21).
D. C. Buchanan