What is hope? In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is defined as “a confident expectation that a desire will be fulfilled; wishful trust; something which one longs to see realized”
That is a pretty good definition, isn’t it?
Bernard M. Baruch tells the story of a man sentenced to death who obtained a reprieve by assuring the king he would teach his majesty’s horse to fly within the year — on the condition that if he didn’t succeed, he would be put to death at the end of the year.
“Within a year,” the man explained later, “the king may die, or I may die, or the horse may die. Furthermore, in a year, who knows? Maybe the horse will learn to fly.”
This man’s hope was based on something unknown. Hope, when put into effect, becomes faith. Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
We go through this life with the hope that this is not all; there is something better coming. We have God’s word on it.
In Deuteronomy 4:1-28, Moses recaps the history of the wilderness journey. He points out the failings of the people. What should have taken 11 days had turned into a 40-year trip. God led them up to the land of promise, and they refused to go in. He reminds them of the battles they fought along the way. God encourages them by recalling the wonders they have seen but also warns them of the dangers of idolatry. He even prophesies of their idolatrous nature and the coming captivity in Babylon.
God concludes this section in 4:29 on a positive note, “But from there, you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and all your soul.”
What does this have to do with us as Christians? As the children of Israel stumbled around in the desert, manna and water were supernaturally provided for them.
First Corinthians 10:4 says “all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” As Moses reminds Israel that its only hope is in trusting God, we Christians are reminded that if we have any hope in this world, that hope is Jesus. He is our only hope.
Harn is the pastor of Victory Assembly of God and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.
(Editor’s note: Much of this column comes from sermoncentral.com)