I was driving down I-80 this morning, on my way to work, listening to the radio. They were taking about hope.
An interview had been done with a middle eastern man whose father had been kidnapped by the government of his country over 20 years ago. He stated that living with hope can make your life miserable. He still has "hope" that his father is alive, but holding onto that hope has taken a toll on his life.
There is a great difference between "living with hope" and "THE Living Hope." You can live with hope that is "empty" or you can trust in the Living Hope that is Christ. Much like love without Christ is incomplete ... hope without Christ is devoid of "substance." It is not fruitful.
When you examine grace, peace, mercy and forgiveness ... without Christ they are just "labels." There is no action. With Christ, there is "life" in grace, peace, mercy and forgiveness ... complete, not lacking action or fulfillment.
Like this man, we have all experienced some sort of loss, some more difficult than others. I have seen individuals who are much like this man. They hold on to unspeakable sorrow and let it define who they are... or, they can revel in the Living Hope that is Christ Jesus and turn it all over to Him, living a life of real hope, peace and mercy.
Who are you and what defines you? Are you a child of the King? Do you have hope? Is it fruitless hope or hope in the Living Hope that is Christ?
I Peter 1:3
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, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.