Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. (1 Peter 1:3-4a NIV)
We all know what it feels like to be disappointed when our expectations are not met. Maybe we went the extra mile at work, but the boss didn’t notice. We remembered birthdays, anniversaries, and bought her flowers, but she still left and took the kids. We have broken promises to ourselves about setting boundaries, doing this, or not doing that again and again. We commit to read more, attend classes, or complete projects and don’t finish, or we fail to act on a good idea or dream until the season has passed. When circumstance or people, including ourselves, fail to meet our expectations, there is little wonder why we are so disappointed, tired, empty, confused, isolated, and alone; because we have been duped into placing too much confidence in people, bank accounts, careers, and “Things, Things, Things” instead of Jesus—our Living Hope. He alone can satisfy, for He alone is what a heart desires when it longs for home.
Hope followed to its source always leads to Jesus; and He will never leave our seeking hearts sick, for He is the attentive bridegroom and friend of sinners. In John 16:33, Jesus tells us we will have trouble. Disappointment is part of the cost of living in this fallen world, but most of us have opportunities to work, build, and start over each moment and each day. No matter how bad things are today, this week, or over the next year, the ability to begin again is a powerful motivator and gives us a second wind. Like the late Holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl, wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.’
Hope in Christ is not just a thing to keep us going until better days come, for it is not simply a means to an end. A relationship with Jesus is what we were made and are sustained for. An echo of this wisdom repeats itself through many writers, for example, Jim Rohn wrote, “Our lives are affected by two major things: one is price, and the other is promise. And it’s not that easy to pay the price if you can’t see the promise (Leading an Inspired Life 2010 pg32).
Loneliness and a lack of purpose is an increasing problem in our fragmented modern world where we are separated by pixels, subcultures, and geographical distance. Brother, you matter, and God has a plan for you. If you have made mistakes, you are among good company. If you feel like giving up, please don’t. Your life is not over, and better days are ahead. You are not alone. If you have lost your way or need a fresh wind in your sails, call out to Jesus. He is good. He can be trusted. He is our Living Hope.
– Richard Harwood from The Guild