“In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:17-20 [NASB]
I deeply miss Sarah. Just below the surface of my smile there is a pervasive sadness encompassing my heart. My aching heart is so very thankful that the backdrop of hopelessness is repeatedly present throughout the inspired Word of God. Over and over again we see accounts of God’s extension of hope to those in hopeless situations. Joseph, Job, David, Esther, Israel and the judges, over and over again our unchanging ever-faithful God gives hope to the hopeless.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23 [NASB]
I find myself identifying with a degree of the weight of grief that first Good Friday must have held for those who loved our Lord. High expectations and great hopes completely dashed as they saw and heard of His crucifixion and death. The Son of Man, the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is dead. The crushing blow of hopelessness and despair must have fallen like a gauntlet.
Praise God, Sunday came, and with it the divine unfolding message of Hope for the hopeless climaxed through the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. I can only imagine the disciples’ euphoric rejoicing at seeing Him again. Their hope was renewed that He would be restoring the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). They thought they understood His plan, but they did not. Our risen Lord had to shift their focus from a temporal hope to His eternal Hope. Their hope and ours is not an earthly kingdom but the eternal risen Savior Himself.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5 [NASB]
My heart deeply aches at the thought of celebrating Easter without Sarah for the first time this year, but I am so very thankful for the eternal Hope of Easter. The sure and steadfast Hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ freely offered as an anchor for weary souls. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have confident assurance of a living Hope, the certainty of our eternal future.
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” Romans 8:24-25 [NASB]
If you, like me, are approaching this Easter with a heavy heart and deep sadness, join me in seeking encouragement through the truths of His Word. Like the disciples, we must shift our focus from our temporal pain and shattered hopes to Him and His eternal Hope. The Hope of His Salvation is the helmet that will guard our minds and thoughts, but we must choose to put it on (1 Thess. 5:8).
Let’s diligently fix our minds on His truths and the eternal Hope of living together with Him. In so doing we will be divinely strengthened to fruitfully persevere the remainder of our days with eager anticipation of His coming. We’re only here a little while longer, this life is but a vapor (James 4:14). So let’s take hold of the Hope set before us, urgently and diligently grasping it as a lifeline, the anchor of our souls.
“But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 [NASB]
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 [NASB]