It is terribly easy to become hopeless, to fall into despair. The darkness of the days, the darkness of the times, the darkness of evil in the world, the darkness of our own hearts can easily drive us to despair and the loss of hope.
Hope is future looking. The runner strains toward the finish line in the hope of finishing the race. But where there is no hope, there is no reason to run. If there is no hope in this life, there is no reason to go on. Then we may as well join the world and say, “Let’s eat and drink today for tomorrow we die.”
Christ is our Hope. He has gone into the darkness, into the depths of our Death, for us, leading us like a shepherd through the darkest of valleys. He has risen from the dead, and in His resurrection there is hope. Though we die, yet we will live.
We are born into this hope in Baptism. Hope looks forward to our future inheritance, waiting for us, kept in heaven’s trust for us, as faith clings to Baptism’s promissory note. We live in a living hope, the hope of life with God, the hope of our humanity restored, raised up, glorified. And it is all ours now by faith in the Promise. Faith is the promise of things hoped for, not yet by possession but by promise. Faith looks to the future in hope, and the future is hopeful because God keeps His promise.
Now we suffer grief of death, of loves lost, of temptation, of separation, of lostness. We suffer in all sorts of trials, each of us has his or her own to carry. But there is hope in Christ. These trials are God’s refining fire, refining faith to a 24-karat luster that will shine in praise and glory and honor at the advent coming of Jesus Christ on the last day.
We live now by faith and not by sight. We live in hope. We love a Savior we do not see but who is with us in every way. We live trusting Him in this present darkness, knowing and believing that the Day will soon dawn and Christ will appear, and we will appear with Him in His glory. Then what is hoped for will be seen and received.
There is hope in Jesus. A living hope in a living Christ. No matter how dark your darkest night, the future is bright and glorious. You are receiving the salvation of your souls.