The Bible is not light reading. Using a cast of thousands, God unfolds a narrative full of brutal murders, sordid sexual affairs, manipulation, and extortion. With story after story, we begin to see that evil has stained us all. In fact, Romans 3:23 tells us that all people have sinned and are therefore separated from God. The apostle Paul sums up our desperate situation, saying that we were “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

Yet throughout the Biblical narrative, God also weaves the promise and appearance of a Savior. Jesus came to bring us hope, fulfilling all the messianic prophesies (Isaiah 11:10/Romans 15:12; Isaiah 42:4/Matthew 12:21).

Further reading: Jesus Foretold: Just a Coincidence?

Hope for the futur — that we will be redeemed. Hope for the present — that we are not alone, but are loved and have purpose. Hope even over the past — that our failures are not greater than God’s power to transform.

When we as believers speak of hope, we don’t mean a desire that may or may not be fulfilled. No, our hope is certain. Our hope for forgiveness, for reconciliation with God and a perfect, holy, eternal life, rests on the finished work of Jesus.

Jesus — the sinless Son of God — died to pay the penalty for our sins and rose from the dead so that we too might have a sinless life in eternity.

Paul describes Jesus Christ as “our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1) and “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). Jesus not only came to bring hope. He is our hope.

We have hope because Jesus forgives us and transforms us into his likeness. Knowing Jesus brings contentment regardless of material possessions and joy despite difficult circumstances. Nothing can destroy this hope because it’s stored in heaven where no earthly power can touch it.

Read Donna’s story of hope

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

We have received new birth into a living hope that’s real everyday. It’s living because Jesus is alive and offers to transform our hearts, minds, and actions daily. As we understand God’s forgiveness, we start forgiving others. As the reality of Christ’s sacrifice penetrates our hearts, we lay down our selfish desires. We begin to serve our families, our neighbors, and even strangers on the street in his Spirit's strength. Although mundane, painful, and stressful events threaten to diminish our hope, Jesus renews our hope whenever we seek him.

The world lacks hope. Human beings are clamoring to fill their empty lives with stuff. Abuse, addiction, illness, and broken relationships surround us. People need to know that Jesus came to bring hope, that he is our hope, and that our hope is alive.

Is the hope of Jesus real and alive in you? Is his Spirit alive and at work in you?

Read Donna’s story of hope

Photo Credit: Darren Bockman