Our Hope Is a Person
Bible Studies for Life
How many times throughout the course of a day or week do you hear yourself saying, “I hope…”?
“I hope my son makes it back from the war.”
“I hope my daughter has a safe drive back from college.”
“I hope this surgery goes okay.”
Our normal use of hope often expresses faith that God is overseeing, but it also displays that we are dealing with uncertainties. We cannot control the outcomes of the war, the drive, or the surgery, but we really want things to turn out well. We want good news instead of bad news.
A powerful story
In the New Testament book of Luke, Jesus tells a powerful story. It concerns a son who leaves home to the chagrin of his father. The story, known to most as “The Prodigal Son,” is a beautiful picture of the love God has for those who come to Him.
One day the younger of two sons asked his father for the early dispersal of his portion of the inheritance. Over the course of time, the young man spent every cent of the money wastefully, exploring the depths of a worldly lifestyle. When he ran out of money, he ran out of friends, and found himself performing the demeaning task of feeding pigs. So hungry had he become, he lusted after the slop provided for them.
When he finally got tired of his station in life, the young man purposed to return to his father, willing to be only a hired hand on his father’s estate. The father had other plans. Luke records, “But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! So they began to celebrate” (15:22-14, HCSB).
How this applies to your life
When you think about this story, consider its application to your own life.
In the Spring 2014 unit of Bible Studies for Life, Pete Wilson writes this about this story:
“The best robe meant either the master’s best personal robe or the one formerly worn by this son to denote his place of love and honor in the family. The ring confirmed the son’s return to a place of authority in the household. Only masters and sons wore sandals. These three actions combined would declare to everyone that the father had restored his son to the full honor of sonship.”1
We read this story with joy, but rarely do we fully substitute ourselves into this part of the story. We are quick to refer to ourselves as prodigals, even recounting years in sin wasted. But we are hesitant to embrace the hope of the robe, the ring, and restoration. Yet, this is what God offers.
In Jesus Christ, who is our hope, His atonement for our sin, His personal sacrifice of Himself for our sin, places us in His sonship. Through His Spirit, we are able to call upon Him in an intimate way. In Jesus Christ, we are loved. In Jesus Christ, we are placed into the full honor of sonship.
Our hope is personal
Hope for the believer is not a wish or reckless emotion in a series of improbable events. Rather, hope is a person: Jesus Christ. Our hope of being accepted by the Father is based on what Jesus Christ accomplished in His death and resurrection. It is in Christ our longings for the Father are fulfilled. He is our hope. In Jesus, our hope is personified.
1– Bible Studies for Life, Let Hope In, by Pete Wilson.
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