“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel” – Colossians 1:5
A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon and asked the boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, “Eighteen to nothing. We are behind.”
“Wow,” said the man, “I bet you’re really discouraged?”
“Why should I be discouraged?” replied the little boy. “We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!”
This little leaguer demonstrated hope to this man, something that much of the millennium generation knows nothing about. Everywhere we turn it seems like everyone is in an uproar over their rights rather than rising above their situation and demonstrating hope. Hope was something that our previous generations did with great success. Over and over, regardless of background or skin color, they took a seemingly impossible situation and moved forward with a desire for a positive outcome. This kind of hope is still around today but it is not found in politics or protests. It is only found in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church is the place where diversity comes together in unity, and hope transcends this world. For the believer who has Christ, He is called their “hope of glory” Colossians 1:27. Having Christ as our hope goes beyond a positive mental attitude in this temporal life. This kind of hope translates into the eternal.
The hope that is usually mentioned is a common hope, a desire to move forward expecting a positive outcome when things are discouraging and bleak. However, a heavenly hope is much more than looking for the positive but rather it is knowing the promises of God as a surety. In other words, a common hope is a “hope so” kind of hope, while a heavenly hope is a “know so” kind of hope. We know that the word of God is true. History testifies to the fact that God’s word has changed the lives and destinies of individuals, villages, and nations. Kings have tried to destroy it and critics have mocked it but the hope God’s word gives has not, nor ever will fade away. This kind of heavenly hope distinguishes the Christian from the unbeliever. This heavenly hope does not arise from the individual’s desires or wishes but it originates from God Himself. It is a firm assurance about things that are unseen (Romans 8:24,25; Hebrews 11:1), and that God goes before us in this life and the life to come.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:6). A heavenly hope is a joyful and contented expectation of eternal salvation and glorification dwelling with God as our Father and the Lord Jesus as our Elder brother.
David C. Hale, pastor