A Better Hope

Hope is an amazing thing.

A little bit of hope can go a long way. It inspires people to live better lives. It motivates people to keep pressing forward despite obstacles that are in their way. It flies in the face of our present circumstances and promises a better outcome.

One of my favorite movie franchises is Star Wars. Episode IV, which was actually the first film created, is subtitled A New Hope. At this point in the storyline, the evil Empire was in almost complete control of the galaxy. There was just a small group of rebels, and it was just a matter of time before they were crushed. Then Luke Skywalker appeared on the scene. His arrival, coupled with some other fortunate events, gave the rebellion hope for the future. This hope inspired them to fight back and stand strong against the Empire.

Hope is an amazing thing.

At Advent, we are reminded of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. But there is a major difference between our hope in the Lord and the hope that is described in Star Wars. With the arrival of Luke Skywalker, there was a chance. There was wishful thinking of what could be. But there was no guarantee that the rebellion would be successful.

The arrival of Jesus Christ, however, brings a better hope. A hope that goes beyond just wishful thinking, but is grounded in the promises of God. With the arrival of Jesus, the promises that God made to his people since the beginning of creation were coming true. God would send his chosen one to rescue his people. This Messiah would redeem his people, paying the price himself to free them from slavery to sin. This was guaranteed by his death and resurrection to those who receive it by faith.

Hope is an amazing thing.

Because we have this hope in Christ, we can live confidently in his grace. This does not mean we will be free from sin. We will make mistakes, but we have hope because we have been forgiven. This also does not mean that we should just continue to live in sin, banking on God’s forgiveness but never changing our lifestyle. Rather, this hope we have in God’s promises to us in Christ Jesus should inspire us to live faithfully and confidently in response to his goodness and mercy. It should motivate us to take steps of faith, trusting that God is with us. It gives us reason to be joyful in the midst of our present circumstances, because it promises us a better outcome.

Hope reminds us that God is faithful. How amazing is that?

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