What is your greatest hope?

Are you looking for a hope that is certain?

By Bernice Gan and Hannah Tang Peled 

In 2020, many of us hoped that Covid-19 would be over and that our lives would go back to normal. 

Three years later, thankfully, mask restrictions have eased and we welcome a new year in the new normal where we can celebrate festivities again with our friends and families!
What are some of your hopes in 2023 for yourself, your family, friends, work, community? Do you hope for good health, safety for your family, good academic results for children in your care, success and fulfillment at work for you and yours?  

Some of us may hope for leaders that govern well, whether in our respective countries or in our communities. 

When Jesus Christ was born more than 2000 years ago, His people, the Jews, were looking and hoping for a political King who would make their nation strong again. 

But Jesus was much more than the King of the Jews. He is the Saviour of the world and he came to love us by dying for us (Romans 5: 8).  

Through Jesus, our sins are forgiven (1 John 1: 9) and we are reconciled to God the Father so that we can be His children (Eph 2: 15-17; John 1: 12). Because of Jesus, we have abundant and eternal life (John 10:10; 3: 16) and peace in our hearts, peace with God and our fellow men (2 Cor 5: 17-19). 

Jesus is God’s greatest gift to us and our greatest hope. 

A Certain Hope 

Photo by Unsplash / Ronak Valobobhai 

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” (Deut 7:9) 

Not many people know what it means to hope in God’s promises better than the people of Israel. Their forefather Abraham received God’s promise and waited with this hope for 25 years before he finally experienced the joy of holding baby Isaac.  

Joseph hoped in God’s promise to bring the Israelites out of Egypt and instructed them to bring his bones along when they left (Exodus 13:19).  

Jeremiah prophesied the fall of Babylon and the return of the exiled after 70 years. Daniel believed and prayed for it. Ezra and Nehemiah witnessed its fulfilment. In 1948, the modern State of Israel was miraculously formed, after thousands of years without nationhood (Ezekiel 36-37). Their anthem is titled “The Hope”. 

Every year the Jewish people celebrate Passover and Purim, recalling God’s faithfulness and mighty deliverance. Retelling history is to remember that God is covenant-keeping, to understand we are part of God’s plan and that history is not made of random events.  

The Psalmist said, “I wait for the Lord… and in his word I hope…. O Israel, hope in the Lord!” (Ps 130). 

Photo by Unsplash / Lina Trochez

Our Christian hope is not the same as Christmas wish lists, or a bucket list of things we want to do or achieve. Apostle Peter called it a Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3) where we look forward to God’s promise of Christ’s second coming (Revelation 1:7, John 14:1-3).  

Our hope is certain, because it is built on promises of a covenant-keeping God. 

Read and Reflect 

  1. Have you received this gift of God’s love and forgiveness, and if having done so, are you living in the love, peace and joy of being a child of God? 
  1. What do you most hope for this year? What is your hope built upon? 
  1. How are you holding on to God’s promises with hope and preparing your heart for Jesus’ return? 

Read with your child 

What is your understanding of the word “hope”? We often hear our friends say, “I hope it will stop raining, so I can go out and play” or “I hope to have McDonald’s for dinner”.  The “hope” expressed in these situations is a wishful hope that may or may not come true. However, when we say we hope in God, it is a different meaning. We are saying that we trust Him and know that He will certainly do what He says He will do. It is a certain hope! 

For many years, the Israelites prayed and hoped that God would rescue them from their slavery in Egypt, and God did it by sending Moses to lead them. Though the Israelites were free from slavery in Egypt, they were not free from slavery to sins and eternal death. It is the same with us. But God has rescued us by sending His son, Jesus, to die on the cross in our place. Without Jesus, we are hopeless and will forever be slaved to sins and eternal death. Jesus is the certain hope that God has promised us.

Will you put your hope in Jesus alone and claim the promise of eternal life from God? 

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