To hope is to expect (not merely wish) something to happen. People find hope in or base their hope upon various things:
- economic well-being — “If I am financially secure then things will turn out well”
- performance of certain necessary requirements — “If I am diligent (to do x, y, or z…) I will be safe.”
- God’s grace — “I trust in Christ to work out all things for good.”
Of course these are broad categories and there are overlaps between the three. For example, “I trust in God to provide suitable employment so I can work hard, save money, and be safe in the event my car breaks down.” This would be combination of all three answers.
Notice the key is what comes first: does trust in wealth come first? does trust in my works come first? Or does trust in God come first? Only the last one is a sure hope because the others will surely fail.
The story of Job, as told in the Bible, is very instructive:
- he had tremendous financial resources — his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east (Job 1.3)
- he did the right things to secure his childrens’ well-being — he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings [on their behalf] (Job 1.5). That action in itself presupposes God’s grace (for if God is not gracious the action of burning sacrifices would be useless).
- his hope in God is further highlighted when Job looses all his posessions and all his children — Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1.21)
Clearly, Job’s hope was in the Lord first. The importance of this is especially significant when it comes to eternal things. In what/whom do you hope for eternal life?
Three Sources of Hope Compared
|The true source of our problems is sin and the only sure solution to this problem is Christ’s atonement. Nothing else can be added to Christ’s work (Hebrews 10.14; Titus 3.5-7) and those for whom Christ died can never lose the benefits of his work (John 10.28; 2Thessalonians 3.3).||Personal financial resources and the shared resources of civil goverment are useful to protect us against the perils of life.||‘… if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you…’ (Book of Mormon Moroni 10.32).
‘… for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (Book of Mormon 2Nephi 25.23).
|The Bible says ONLY salvation by grace is sure and steadfast:
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is (Jeremiah 17.7; cf. v.13)
For we are saved by hope (Romans 8.24)
|The Bible says economic well-being will disappoint:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6.19)
|The Bible says our labors will certainly fail:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Romans 3.11-12)
We exhort you to hope in the LORD and in his Christ who was crucified for our sins and raised for our salvation (Acts 4.26; Romans 4.25); realize you are a sinner with no hope (Ephesians 2.12); confess your sins and inability to satisfy God’s requirements (Galatians 2.16); by faith have the blood of Christ cover your sins (Ephesians 2.13). God cannot fail — he is the sure basis for a lasting hope.
Contact us so we can help you along the way.