No One Ever Asked Me

I asked my Christian friends what Easter means and they said, “Hope.”

I have some unbelieving friends who don’t like the term hope. It feels weak to them. It has a victim’s feel. “I hope things get better.” I understand their distaste.

Hope in the New Testament, however, isn’t weak.

Explanation:

The New Testament term hope means, “To look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial.” It’s not wishful thinking.

It’s confidence about the future that bleeds back into the present.

The resurrection transformed defeat to confidence, weakness to strength, and despair to hope. Of all people, we have the best opportunity to live hopefully. I fear we live well below our opportunity.

Clarification:

Hope isn’t denial. Hope isn’t pretending it doesn’t hurt. Real hope enables us to see ourselves and our world as we are. Hope fuels the journey.

Preparation:

Peter, the defector, put it this way:

1 Peter 3:15 (ESV) “… always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”

Has it happened:

When has someone asked you to explain your positive outlook?

Peter’s challenge to have our answer ready is based on one colossal assumption. Believers are unusually, remarkably, noticeably, hopeful.

No one askes:

I’m not worried about preparing an answer that explains my profoundly positive outlook on life. No one has ever asked me why I’m remarkably hopeful, ever.

I need a large dose of Easter every day – a dose that lifts me above platitudes to recognizable hope.

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One Comment on “No One Ever Asked Me”

  1. Marc Bacon Says:

    We use the word “hope” to express an optimistic wish for a good outcome, with no sense of certainty. We can say, “I hope I win the lottery”, but really don’t expect to do so.

    The Greek word translated “hope” is even stronger than this. The “in confidence” portion of your italicized definition is very assertive. To a Greek, hope is the firm expectation of a good an beneficial thing that is sure to happen, but is in the future.

    Having hope in this regard is like saying I “hope” to get my next paycheck on Friday, or I “hope” to get to my vacation destination when I’m already on the plane, or like a child’s “hope” for Christmas presents when he/she looks at the presents under the tree on Christmas eve.

    It is because of the assurance of this “blessed hope” that the heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 suffered tortures and hardships. This hope is not grounded in wishes, but in the character of the One who does not change, who loved us enough to send His Son to die for us, who raised Him from the dead, and who promised to prepare a place for us.


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