“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Hope is like oxygen for the soul.
But let’s be real. This world can suck the hope right out of us, can’t it? The complex challenges in our personal lives are compounded by a relentless barrage of discouraging news from around the globe. It’s enough to make us spiral into despair.
So, as we start 2023, if your hope is hanging on by a thread, I get it.
But as Christ-followers, we were never meant to live this way. In Christ, we have a hope that supersedes the harsh realities of life.
You see, biblically speaking, hope isn’t just wishful thinking, as in ‘I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.’ Nor is it blind optimism, pretending everything in life is hunky dory.
When the Bible speaks of hope, it’s talking about a confident expectation in who God is, what He’s done, and what He’s promised to do in the future. Our hope is in Him and Him alone.
Notice the writer of Hebrews calls us to take hold of hope, not loosely, as if we’re grabbing a pen or pencil, but “unswervingly.” This is a firm, vigorous, ‘hold on for dear life’ kind of grip that absolutely refuses to let go. The Greek word for “unswervingly” literally means, ‘that which doesn’t bend.’ In other words, no matter what life throws at us, our hope doesn’t sway back n’ forth but stands straight as an arrow.
It’s not. Unwavering hope is within our reach. At the same time, it isn’t going to magically appear. We have to take intentional action.
Here are some quick observations on how we sustain deep-rooted hope all year long:
• Intimacy with Jesus – Leading into today’s verse, the writer explains how the finished work of Christ has given us access to the “Most Holy Place,” where the presence of God dwells (Hebrews 10:19-23). The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus have paved the way for us to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
While our hope begins at the empty tomb, it is maintained by continually “drawing near” to the heavenly throne room and staying close to Jesus (Hebrews 10:22).
• Communal, not individual – It’s hard to hold onto hope by yourself. We need a Christian community, the Body of Christ. That’s why the writer says, “let us” and not ‘let you.’ Two verses later, he specifically challenges believers to “not give up meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25). If we want to remain hopeful in the coming year, we need to stay in fellowship with other believers.
• Claim His promises – With the Lord, a promise made is a promise kept. His character makes it impossible for Him to renege on what He’s said. When we’re running low on hope, we can claim a specific promise from His word.
Let’s start right now with a promise nestled in today’s verse – He is faithful. This is a promise we need to grab hold of over and over again, isn’t it?
As we look out over the coming year, we don’t know what to expect. 2023 could be a fabulous year, an extremely difficult year, or land somewhere in between.
But there’s one thing we know for sure: The Lord has always been and will continue to be faithful. The promise of God’s faithfulness provides stability amid life’s unpredictability.
Because He is faithful, we can remain hopeful.
So, no matter what happens in the coming days, hold onto hope…unswervingly!
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH