Read 1 Timothy 1:1-2. HOPE.

v 1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Saviour and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope.

Hope – in our everyday language – can be a very weak concept. ‘I hope there will be sunshine tomorrow’ doesn’t express much confidence does it! Whereas in its Christian context it conveys strong confidence, indeed a positive assurance cultivated in us by the Holy Spirit that something will be. Hope is not a vague feeling; it comes to us as a gift from God that enables us to exclude fear from our present and future experience. It tells us that God rules over everything, and our lives are in His hands – for good. It carries no threat, only the guarantee that the With-God life is eternally safe.

In the original language it is a difficult word or even concept to translate,

If you still happen to carry English banknotes in your purse or wallet, they will carry the words ‘Promise to pay the Bearer on demand the sum of ….’ It is a guarantee – you don’t just vaguely hope that might be true, you are firmly convinced that if you present it in a shop you will be able to pay for goods to that value. The promise is rock-solid, based on the reputation and reserves of the Bank of England. And we are not expecting the Bank of England to go into liquidation any time soon.

The promises of God are even more secure; so when God promises eternal salvation to those who believe and follow Jesus you can confidently expect Him to fulfil His promises. That is the hope God puts in our hearts. Nothing vague about that! It is an absolute assurance, given by God Himself, that lives placed in His hands will be safe for all eternity. Then, as Paul puts it in Romans 5:5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Tuesday 3rd May Hub Daily notes