Hope for all who fall short

Receiving a hope that does not disappoint

By Alice Lock 

When I was young, my parents would promise to reward my brothers and me with our favourite toy if we came in top in class. My second brother, the brightest of the lot, received his promised gift almost every year, while the rest of us looked on with envy. 

Growing up, my new year’s resolution each year was to work harder than the year before for the promised gift. Even then, I was unable to meet my parents’ expectations and receive the prize. 

Over the years, I have come to accept that society – and even our education system – does not reward those who fall short of expectations. When we don’t achieve good grades in our exams, we cannot get into the school of our choice.  

Photo by Unsplash / Albert Vincent Wu

It took me a while to fully comprehend God’s promised gift of salvation to all who fall short of His glory (Romans 6:23).  

Out of His unconditional love for us, God has graciously gifted us an eternity with Him through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Unlike my parent’s gift, God’s gift of salvation cannot be earned through our hard work. All we need to do is to receive the gift by faith in Jesus Christ. 

Despite missing the mark every year, I continued to hope for my parents’ promised gift. Looking back, I realised it was the hope of receiving the top prize that gave me the purpose to study, helped me endure the rigours of schoolwork, and kept me moving forward, conquering every examination. 

Similarly, it is our hope in salvation that gives us meaning in life, helps us endure our sufferings, and keeps us moving forward, conquering every trial.

This hope is anchored on the second coming of Jesus Christ. It is a certain hope, a blessed assurance of receiving the gift of salvation grounded in eternity. It is a contrast to the wishful hope I held on to during my childhood. 

Read & Reflect:  

  1. Is your hope anchored on the certainty of God’s salvation or on an illusion of a better life? 
  1. How does this hope enable you to endure trials in life and keep you moving forward? 

Read with your child: 

We all hope that we can pass our exams with flying colours. There is nothing wrong with wanting to excel in school, but have you considered why you want to be top in class? Is it to seek approval from your teachers and parents? Or is it to boast to your friends that you are better than them?  

Did you know that we have a greater hope than scoring As in school? Unlike our grades that sometimes fall short of our parents’ and our own expectations, this hope does not disappoint us because we have already received it through believing in Jesus Christ.

Dear God, help me to put my hope in you and not in the things of this world. 

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