What do you hope for? Do you hope for a new job? A new relationship? A new adventure in life? A new smartphone? But first let me ask you this question, what is hope?
Hope looks at the future. You are hoping because there is something to look forward to. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Single individuals might hope in their work to achieve their goals and dream. Or they might hope for a relationship where they would receive the love they need. These can be the wrong anchors or sources of our hope.
Hebrews 12:2 says keep your eyes on Jesus who perfects our faith. It is actually saying that we are to hope in God. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Wherever there is full assurance of hope, there is faith. Faith is the full assurance of hope. Hope is part of Faith. Therefore, in Hebrews 12 God is the author or source of our faith, and He is the source of our hope. He is the one we are to hope for because he will be the one who will make what we hope for come into a reality. Look at what Romans 15:13 says also.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
When is says “God of Hope” it means God is the source of hope. I like how its translated in the NLT version, it says: “God, the source of hope, will.” Hope here in Greek is elpis meaning expectation, trust, confidence and expectation of what is sure or certain. We can now relate this to God the source of hope as God our source of confidence as we expect something to be sure or certain.
That’s why I would like to define hope as CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE ANCHORED ON GOD WITH GREAT EXPECTATIONS
Great Expectations because God can do more than what we could think of our imagine and because we expect it to actually happen. One famous preacher said, biblical hope is just not a desire but it expects it to happen
This is an message directed towards singles. As single individuals we should hope in God in these three areas:
- Hope in God as our Hope in our Work
- Hope in God as our Hope in our Relationships
- Hope in God as our Hope in our Future
1) HOPE IN OUR WORK
What could possibly we be your hope in your work? What are you hoping for in your work? Do you hope your office will look as cool as the office of Google, Dropbox or Lego? Or are you hoping to find the right career?
For most of us I know this is something that we want to achieve that’s why we hope for it. We even pray for it. We hope to find our dream job. We might be in a place right now were there’s too much work and we feel that compensation is not at par with the load you are given. You have too many overtime plus there’s office politics.
Do not endure because of your hope in finding the right job someday, but work because you are working for the Lord
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Look at the hope that is being mentioned here – “since you know what you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as reward.” You will get a reward as you live a life of obedience, just working for the Lord even if you earthly bosses doesn’t reward you.
That’s why you are to respond properly and do your best in your work. Love the people (your officemates) you work with and share Jesus to them. Show Jesus in how you do your work and do not crumble
I know this is easier said than done. I have experienced this. But let your focus be on desiring to hear from God “Well done good in faithful servant.” Imagine that kind of a reward! And as we work for him, the Lord will empower us to work with passion and love for what we are doing when we rely on Him and the power of the Holy Spirit
Our hope in work should also not be to gather riches in this world which his temporary.
1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Put hope not on Money but the Lord. That you may find security in Him and not in material possession.
2) HOPE IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS
What are you hoping for in your relationships? Finding the Perfect Partner? Or the hope that marriage will solve everything?
I appeal to you brothers and sisters that our hope to get love and attention should not be on people. People are not perfect. They will fail us. Hope is secure in God because God is not changing and will never fail us. That’s why single individuals are not to focus on marriage as a means to an end to this single life but our focus is to be the best the Lord wants us to be.
I don’t know if you’ve read this article entitled “Marriage Isn’t for You.” It went viral and got a million hits. Seth Adam Smith, the writer, got it!
“Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me,” Smith begins, before pulling a bait and switch on the reader and launching into his pro-marriage stance, which he developed after getting cold feet before his wedding to wife Kim. “Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?”
Turned to his father for guidance and says that what he learned was life-altering. “He said, ‘Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.’”
I believe this is the kind of selfless love that we need to develop. This is the kind of love that we need to learn how to practice in our family and friends. And we can only learn how to do this once we understand that true love can only be found in the Lord.
What should be our hope in our relationships? Our hope in our relationships for the people that we love is for them to know the Lord. We should not be selfish. We should only look after their best. And that is for them to have a relationship with the Lord and experience eternal life with Him in heaven someday.
But you can only hope in God – that the power of His love and grace will be able to transform them. Because change is not dependent on us but on the Lord.
1 Corinthians 3:4-6
4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? 5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.
If you are praying for the salvation of a family member – Hope in the Lord. If you are leading a bible study group or discipleship group, you need to realize that change will not come from you but from God.
Of course, you have to do your part in being faithful to sharing Jesus to them. That they may get to know the Lord and be secured in their future. You need to take action! It’s hope that moves. Hope in God.
3) OUR HOPE IN OUR FUTURE
It is our future destination that gives us hope.
4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.
Not matter what we are going through in this earth – trails, pain, hardship, etc. It is nothing compared to eternity. Our time here is just like a day that has gone by compared to eternity. What should you value more, 60 years on earth or limitless years in eternity?
Think about it. Hardship is just like a second compared to an eternity of pleasure with the Lord in Heaven.
That’s why as children of God, we always have hope! Maybe on the earth you feel none but this is only our temporary place.
As singles, we are easily prone to lose our eternal focus because of the things we want to do. We want to achieve a lot in our work. We want to be fit and exercise. We want to travel and see the whole world. We want to try a new hobby or start investing to save for the future.
But it is not the temporary investments that you should give your time and effort to but on the things that will have eternal value. This is where we should invest our time and effort into. That means sharing Jesus to people around you because their relationship with Him is what will last all throughout eternity. And if that means you are to do your best in your office, in hope that people will see Jesus in you, then do so passionately.
Have the right anchor in your hope. Hope in God alone in your work, relationship and future. God is our hope which will never disappoint us and fail us. There will be a time where we will have problems and go through trials. What should keep us going is our hope in God and in his never ending love.
I love this story about a guy in Bangladesh who was being persecuted and was going through a tough time but had anchored his hope in Jesus Christ alone. This is what he said:
Milon says, “We are going through many problems, but still we have Jesus Christ. We have peace through Him, and we have hope that when we die we will go to heaven.”
This guy knew where to place his hope. How about you? Where are you putting your hope into? Is it anchored in the right foundation?