When John F. Kennedy began campaigning for the USA presidency in 1959, he adapted the lyrics of a popular song and made it his campaign theme. He rode to victory in 1960 on the wings of that song and became the youngest person and the first Roman Catholic to be elected president. That song was High Hopes, which first appeared in the 1959 film A Hole in the Head.
In the film, it was sung by Frank Sinatra with a group of children, and it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Its key phrase was, “He’s got high hopes!”
The second most beautiful word in scripture, after “love”, is “hope”.
As Paul said, there are three things that will endure forever, “faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). But the second greatest is “hope”, and like the characters in the song, we are a people with
There is a kind of uncertain “low” hope that is fixed upon material things – a better job, swankier car, overseas holiday, more luxurious home, fashionable clothing, and the like.
Such secular hopes have their proper place, but they are never more than a shadow of the real hope that should enthrall our hearts in Christ.
Christian hope is fixed upon sure goals, things that we are certain to attain – victory, wholeness, triumph over death, heaven, the glory of God.
But note: we “hope” for those promised riches only in the sense that they are not yet fully ours ─ although undeniably they will be ours in Christ!
Thus, there is a vast hiatus between secular hope and Christian hope.
The former is threaded with uncertainty; the latter is anchored in the unbreakable promise of God.
Furthermore, this high hope is the very reason for our salvation – “for hope you have been saved” (Romans 8:24).
Most translations are uncomfortable with that rendering, and prefer either “in hope” or “by hope”. But Paul clearly wrote, “for hope.”
We cannot be saved “by” hope, for scripture strongly affirms that we are saved rather by “faith”. Nor can we be saved “in” hope, for this implies some doubt about our salvation, which in fact is utterly secure in Christ.
But we CAN be saved “for” hope ─ that is, God has saved us so that we might become a people filled with hope, high hope, the very highest of hopes, replete with unquenchable optimism!
WE HOPE IN CHRIST
“Hope” is “an expectation that something good will happen”. In our case, that expectation is based upon the irrefragable promise of God.
Hope arises also from our union with Christ and our knowledge that “Christ is in us, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) − and who can tear Christ out of our hearts?
Christian hopes are rooted in many of the hopes given to ancient Israel, yet strangely, although the ancient Jews were indeed rich in hope, based upon their expectation of the Messiah, their language lacked any exact word for it.
By contrast, the New Testament has more than 80 occurrences of “elpis” – for it is only in the gospel that we have any true hope.
Indeed, as we contemplate the Cross, we realize that even our own sins cannot disappoint us of this hope! So, we live “in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised us before the world began” (Titus 1:2).
WE HOPE IN HEAVEN
All true Christians can be described as “looking for that blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
We cannot doubt that Christ will come again, and that every promise associated with his glorious return will be fully ours!
Our assurance of that is bound up with the church, which is his Bride, destined to be raptured spotless and beautiful forever. We not only wait for that prize, but we wait in hope; that is, never doubting that it will indeed be ours on that day!
Nor even in heaven will hope vanish. For in Paradise there will be unlimited opportunities for growth and achievement. And at each level of attainment the next will be confidently anticipated through hope.
WE HOPE IN THE THRONE
“When God wanted to prove for certain that his promise to his people could not be broken, he made a vow. Now we know that God cannot tell lies, so … those promises should greatly encourage us to take hold of the hope that is right in front of us. This hope is like a firm and steady anchor for our souls. In fact, hope reaches behind the curtain and into the most holy place, where Jesus has gone ahead of us.” (Hebrews 6:17-20)
Scripture says that we are already God’s new creation and already enthroned with Christ in the heavenlies at the Father’s right hand.
This is one of those promises that are both wholly true and not yet realized.
Our task is twofold ─ believe fiercely in the truth; and yet never stop reaching out for its actualization in our daily lives (cp. Exodus 23:29-30; Deuteronomy 7:22).
We should never lose hope that we will keep on grasping more and more the reality of who, and what, and where we are in Christ in the heavenlies!
Let us fall a thousand times, still we will cry, “Rejoice not against me my enemy, for though I fall I will stand up again!” (Micah 7:8)
And if at the end of life, we are still face down in the dust, then the resurrection will carry us out of death and defeat and into the perfection of God!
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Newsletter of Lighthouse Outreaches, Inc. Steve and Kath Mills
Life In Kuwait
Kath and I have now been living in Kuwait for a little over 18 months and it feels like home. Recently we moved into a nice quiet neighborhood, so we are no longer bothered by all the construction that surrounded our old place. The church is continuing in a slow steady growth. For our Easter Sunday service we had 132 in attendance. Please be praying for continued growth.
From the 1st through the 4th of May I will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Missional International Church Network (MICN) conference. This will be a great time to interact with leaders of international churches from around the world. It will be good to see some good friends that I have not seen in over a year.
On the 17th of June I will be heading to India to work with Pastor Baskaran who is doing church planting in villages in the Alangulam area of Tamil Nadu. I will also have the privilege of attending their daughter’s wedding. This trip will cost about $900.
Construction continues on the Bible School and Vocational School in Saclepea, Liberia. Please be in prayer with us as we still need about $5,000 to complete this phase of the project. This school is strategically placed between the border of Guinea and Ivory Coast in Northeast Liberia.
Please stand with us in prayer for:
* Continued good health
* Open hearts to the gospel message
* Stability in the Arabian Gulf region
* Safe travel for my upcoming trips.
* An increase in monthly support.
We are in the process of helping one of our church planters in Uganda to
start a pig project that will help support his family and produce income for
future church plants. The project will cost $1000. Stand with us in prayer
for his need to be met.
We are only able to do what we do because of your faithful financial support. Please ask God how you can help us continue to share the gospel across Africa, the Arabia Gulf and beyond. Let me thank you in advance for your generous help. Our offering address is at the bottom of this newsletter.
Be blessed and keep your eyes on Jesus.
Great Commission Fellowship
3600 Manhattan Blvd
Harvey, LA 70085