Pastor's Viewpoints: "The Foundation of Hope"
September 2, 2022, 6:36 PM

The Foundation of Hope

The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalms 42:5, 11; 43:5 ESV),

The psalmist asked this timeless question three times. He received God’s answer. The question was, “Why am I depressed?” God’s answer for his depression was to hope in Him!

What is hope? And why is it so important? Hope is defined as an eager expectation of fulfillment of a future blessing. When people hope they are expressing trust in or reliance upon the one whom they believe will bring fulfillment. The definition of hope also expresses the need to have it. Without hope, we wander aimlessly in life and are tossed around by every one of its circumstances. When we see no future, we naturally get depressed.

There are many kinds of hope, as there are many reasons for not having it. One of my hopes is that our leaders in government would be made to understand that they are God’s ministers for the good and welfare of all people under their authority. It is hard to live in a time when leaders call good evil and evil good, when we’re told that right is wrong and wrong is right, when we’re told to believe what is unreal instead of that which can be plainly seen.

It is hard to live at a time in which we are experiencing the potential collapse of our Nation as we have come to know it. Yet, as a Christian, I know that this world is not my home. My citizenship is in heaven. I am a citizen of God’s Kingdom and as such, I have a hope that can never be taken from me. What is this hope that is ultimate and eternal? Christians know that there is more to life than what we see. This is not all there is, answering an old ballad. There is a greater hope and life than political, economic, or personal relationships can offer. It transcends this world.

Ultimate hope is transcendent. No man can give it. In fact, we can’t even give it to ourselves. Only the transcendent being God can give ultimate hope. The transcendent God, the one who spoke and created everything out of nothing, said that ultimate hope is eternal glory. The Apostle Paul writing God’s words said “the mystery hidden for ages but now revealed to His saints” is ultimate hope. He wrote this clear description. Ultimate hope is “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

God’s revelation of hope raises at least two questions. The first question is, who gives ultimate hope? The answer is, God. The second question is, to whom does God give this hope? The former passage declares that ultimate hope is given by God to “His saints.” Now, we need to understand what God meant by the word “saints”. Who are saints?

The Bible teaches that saints are not those who have departed this life and have been determined by some religious body to be holy people. Saints are those who are set apart by God. Saints in the Bible are those whom God has chosen to be His. All believers throughout all time are saints of God.

Scripture teaches that God chose a man (Genesis 12), a nation (Deuteronomy 7), and both Jews and Gentiles (Galatians 3). The fact that God chose individuals to be His saints was declared by Apostles Paul and Peter (Romans 9-11 and 1 Peter 2).

Why is something so clear made so confusing? The only reasonable answer is that we don’t like to think that God must choose us. We like to think that He needs our help in selecting the “right” people. What we “like” to think is irrelevant. It is critical for us to know what God thinks and has told us.

The Bible’s clarity on this issue of ultimate hope and its recipients is the greatest comfort and assurance any man or woman can have. Since God gives it, no man can take it from you. There is much more to say concerning God’s gift of eternal hope. The Bible is full of hope for those who are in Christ! God gives eternal hope through the gospel of the Person and Work of Christ. The gospel is God’s power for salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16).