Many were looking forward to 2021. It was anticipated with much hope, that is, desire and expectation. However, we are nine days into the year and hopes have faded for many. The reason hope has so quickly diminished in the minds of many is because we hope in the wrong things.
We hope for a better governing class.
We hope for a stronger stock market.
We hope for less violence in the streets.
We hope for the pandemic to come to an end.
We hope for people to have less pride and arrogance.
We hope individuals will cease the fight for power.
We hope the divisiveness will come to an end.
We hope lies and falsehoods will quit being told.
We hope the anger that fills many hearts will subside.
We hope hypocrisy will be set aside for genuineness.
These things have to do with the hearts, words, attitudes, and behaviors of sinful men and women. The world has hoped for these things for thousands of years, but the world never sees their hopes turn into realities.
My friends, we are hoping in the wrong things.
We need to be hoping for things that are far beyond this world.
We need to hope for the return of Jesus Christ (Tit. 2:13).
We need to hope for the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6).
We need to hope for our spiritual body (I John 3:2-3).
We need to hope for our eternal abode in heaven (Col. 1:5).
We need to hope for eternal life (Tit. 1:2).
These are things that are true and real. One day, they will become realities. When these things are our hope, we do not grow discouraged in a sin-filled, hate-filled world that makes bold promises, but never delivers on them.
"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen: but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" (Col. 3:1-4).