Without that needed spark of hope, we are doomed to a dark, grim existence. How often the word “hopeless” appears desiring god pdf john piper suicide notes. And even if it isn’t actually written, we can read it between the lines. Hope is a vital necessity of life–a gift that God wants to give to you.
Hope identified as cultural hope is merely an optimistic desire that something will be fulfilled. This hope is not a guaranteed hope because it is subject to changeable people and circumstances. And so often when we use the word “hope” in casual conversation, it has a wavering, uncertain sound. Most people live in hope that things will improve for them and that they will finally be satisfied. One of the frightening observations of our day is that there are so many, particularly the young, who have no hope. For centuries, anchors have been a symbol of hope. This emblem was especially significant to the early persecuted church.
Many etchings of anchors were discovered in the catacombs of Rome, where Christians held their meetings in hiding. Threatened with death because of their faith, these committed Christians used the anchor as a disguised cross and as a marker to guide the way to their secret meetings. I know I shall die in hope. The atheist Sartre was hopeless for he had refused to believe in Jesus Christ, the only source of genuine, eternal hope. Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man.
Hope has just the opposite effect of stabilizing and encouraging the life of the Christ follower! The foolishness of God is wiser than men! Hope is wishing for something you know ain’t gonna happen. It has been said that man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, and about eight minutes without air—but only one second without hope! It is reported that in the Tamul language there is no word for hope.
Tamul speakers are of the word! What must be the misery of souls in hell where they remember the word, but can never know hope itself! Campbell Morgan tells the story of a man whose shop had been burned in the great Chicago fire. Everything lost except wife, children, and hope. Business will be resumed as usual tomorrow morning.
Hope is a word which has taken on a new and deeper meaning for us because the Savior took it into His mouth. Loving Him and obeying Him, we suddenly discover that hope is really the direction taken by the whole Bible. Hope means a desirable expectation, a pleasurable anticipation. Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all HOPE of our being saved was gradually abandoned. Hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen. In sum hope, as the world typically thinks defines it, is a desire for some future thing which we are uncertain of attaining. The majority of secular thinkers in the ancient world did not regard HOPE as a virtue, but merely as a temporary illusion.
Historians tell us that a great cloud of hopelessness covered the ancient world. What a difference the new birth makes in one’s perspective. Hopelessness is characterized by absolute despair with no expectation of good. Ray Stedman – “One of the great reasons the church is so confused in this day, one of the reasons the church says so little of true significance to the world, is that it has neglected and abandoned, by and large, the hope of the coming of the Lord.
There are very few sermons preached on it. There is very little said about it. There is no time given to a consideration of what this hope means and why it is set forth so frequently and so clearly in the Scriptures. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Christ, he will be hopeless forever. One might paraphrase Dante’s dismal declaration “Life without Christ is a hopeless end but life in Christ is an endless hope.
Hope’ is biblical shorthand for unconditional certainty. Viewing hope from an unsaved person’s perspective, a Greek philosopher wrote “One must not tie a ship to a single anchor nor life to a single hope. The world hopes for the best, but Jesus Christ offers the best hope. Hope is faith in the future tense. We never hope for something that has taken place in the past.