Most people understand hope as wishful thinking, as in I hope something will happen. But this is not what the Bible means by hope. In the Bible, hope is used in the sense of “joyful and confident expectation.”1
Maybe you hope for good things to happen, or like me sometimes, you tend to rather hope that bad things won’t happen. In my case, when those less-than-ideal things do occur, as they do for everyone, I’ve found the following affirmation comforting: “You’ve got to believe that God is in control of your life. It may be a tough time, but you’ve got to believe that God has a reason for it and He’s going to make everything good.”2
This philosophy works for the mundane difficulties of life, but might not be enough for life’s deeper troubles, such as the diagnosis of a terminal illness, or the loss of home and livelihood. In types of serious trouble we need serious hope, and that’s what we can receive through Jesus. His resurrection, which Christians commemorate this month, includes the promise of our own eternal life with Him. As King David of old said, “Because of this, my heart will be glad, my words will be joyful, and I will live in hope.”3
And in the meantime, Jesus left indications of how He wants us to lead our lives:
As His Father sent Him, so He sends us.4 He calls us to be His hands, His feet, His eyes, His lips; to bind up the brokenhearted, comfort those that mourn, feed the hungry, raise those whose spirits have died from despair and loneliness, give new sight to the blind by giving them Jesus the light, share the gospel with the poor, undo the heavy burdens, and set the spiritually oppressed free.5 “Freely you have received, freely give.”6
Let’s place Jesus at the heart of our Easter celebrations and share with everyone we can the wonderful news of His birth, death, and resurrection, which provide “confident expectation” of a new life for all who reach out to Him.