Hope in Jesus is different than hoping for a good outcome at the rodeo
By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross
When we don’t understand what hope is, we set ourselves up to lose it.
“If this situation doesn’t turn around soon, I’m going to lose my truck. I hope I find work soon.”
“That’s two dead calves this spring already, I hope there aren’t any issues with the rest.”
That’s the most common way we’re used to hearing the word, “hope” get used but it sets us up for discouragement when the job doesn’t come and the truck gets repossessed or you lose two more calves in a ridiculously bad calving season.
We put our hope in relationships or friends and family but people are going to fail and we’re going to get let down. As Christians, if we don’t understand what hope is according to scripture, we can get discouraged with God too.
It isn’t easy to change our perspectives but for Christians, our hope is placed in Jesus. That isn’t the same as hoping for a good outcome. “I hope you understand what I’m saying” means I desire a positive outcome that this is helpful. “I hope this job interview goes well” but it still could be a total disaster. With that use of the word hope, there are no guarantees and we can end up feeling defeated.
Hope in Jesus is different. That is something we can be confident in. When we have a saving faith in him, there are no guarantees that life here won’t be hard at times but we are guaranteed a perfect eternity in Heaven. What it means to put our hope in Jesus is that we can face this world’s struggles with the confidence that something amazing is waiting for us in an perfect eternity in Heaven.
1 Peter 3-8 gives some of the explanation.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Peter is showing us that we are going to face struggles here but that when we persevere with our thoughts focused on Jesus, he is glorified through our struggles while God preserves our salvation so that when we leave this world, we move on to that perfect eternity.
We place our hope in Jesus, using the word, “hope” in a completely different context—that we know our salvation is secured no matter what happens to us here.