The Nature of Hope

Jeff Munroe

READ : Jeremiah 33:14-16

The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made. (v. 14)

We read the prophets in Advent because they point with hope to a time when God will completely fulfill his promises. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah speaks of a coming day and a coming person who will execute justice and righteousness. Advent looks forward to the birth of Jesus, the “righteous Branch” who fulfills this prophecy, and we also look forward to the “day of the Lord” when all the promises of the Bible will be fulfilled completely.

We believe the Messiah has come, and yet we also know that justice and righteousness don’t always have the final say in our world. We believe the Messiah has come, but we experience pain, injustice, duplicity, and sin. Too much of the time things just aren’t the way they are supposed to be. We live with hope of a better day coming, even though we have no certainty we will see it in our lifetimes.

What is the true nature of hope? Father Richard Rohr wrote that “hope is not some vague belief that ‘all will work out well,’ but biblical hope is the certainty that things finally have a victorious meaning no matter how they turn out” (Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent, St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2011, p. 143). Where does he get this idea? By looking at the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Never forget that the wounds of Christ were visible after his resurrection. Hope transcends tragedy!

PRAYER

Lord, remind us that you have always kept your promises.