From time to time, we may think that all is hopeless. When ancient Judah was in captivity, they could not see that there might still be in store for them any hope for a better life. God, however, inspired the prophet Jeremiah to write, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
God offers all of us hope. In fact, the entire physical creation, presently subject to decay, is awaiting “in hope” our transformation to glory (Romans 8:20-21). Do we have the same hope that even — in a figurative sense — God’s creation has? Are our actions motivated by that hope — even and especially in times of trials and perceived “hopelessness”?
Paul was inspired by that hope — the “hope of the promise” that “God raises the dead.” (Acts 26:6-8). Even in times of suffering and persecution, Paul “rejoiced” in the hope of the glory of God — the hope to obtain God’s glory (Romans 5:2). Paul even gloried in his trials, knowing that they would ultimately produce even more “hope” (Romans 5:3-4). He was, of course, talking about the right kind of hope — a hope that does not disappoint, because God’s love is abiding in us (Romans 5:5). It is because of the love that God has for us, that we can have hope for a better future.
Paul knew that God only wants the best for us. If God allows us to go through trials, He does so because He loves us, knowing that we have need of correction (Hebrews 12:5-6) and perseverance (Romans 8:24-25). God loved us so much that He was willing to give His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us so that we could obtain the hope of eternal life (John 3:16). With that kind of love, we know that God only wants the best for us, and we also know that God would never allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to endure (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Paul also understood that today’s light and brief sufferings and afflictions are not worthy to be compared with the future weight of eternal glory to be revealed in us (2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:18). So, he wrote Titus these encouraging words: “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ…, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word [of the hope of eternal life] through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior…” (Titus 1:1-3).
Let us continue to develop in our lives that unshakable and sure hope of a brilliant and unimaginable future. At the same time, let us try, as much as we can, to share this message of hope with others. Let us follow Jesus Christ, the “hope of [our] glory” (Colossians 1:27) to go on in order to reach our final destination. Christ is waiting for us — let us continue to eagerly wait and hope for Him. When He returns, He will give us “the hope of the promise of eternal glory” — an unspeakable hope that far transcends our present life (compare 1 Corinthians 15:19).