As a storm thundered across the Sea of Galilee, a young man raced to his fishing boat. He tied a thin cord from the boat to a large rock. An old fisherman called out. “It must be stronger for this storm. Three strands.” The young man shook his head.
“I made this myself. It will hold.” The old man shouted back. “Three together!” But the young man turned and left for home. After the storm, he returned to the shore. But his boat was gone. All that remained was a torn strand of thin cord tied to a rock.
People in the ancient middle east knew the importance of a strong cord. King Solomon wrote, A triple-braided cord is not easily broken.1 A thin cord could not be trusted. They understood where to place their confidence and what they could expect.
Hope is about confidence and expectation.
The Old Testament speaks of hope as waiting with confidence and expectation. The roots of the ancient words describe unbroken cords twisted together, making a strong, more reliable bond. That bond was often with God, the Hope of all the earth.2
This understanding continued in the New Testament. And in [the Messiah’s] name the Gentiles will put their hope.3 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for…4And just as in the Old Testament, hope was often about a certain person.
He is called the Hope of Israel, Hope of Glory, Hope of God…Good Hope, Blessed Hope, Living Hope…God of Hope.5 Hope is not a mere wish or desire. Hope is the One in whom we place our utmost confidence and expectations. He is Christ Jesus, our Hope.6
In these times, Hope is alive and with us.
2020 has been a terrible, difficult year. Hardship, fear, anger and grief have become normal. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.7 That was written almost 2,400 years ago, but people around the world know exactly how that feels.
But for us who follow Jesus, we are never without Hope. He has not left us as orphans.8 He is always by our side, caring for us, guiding us.9 When Jesus was born, true Hope entered the world…not to give us what we want in this life, but what we need for the next one.
As we look to a new year, I pray you see the Light of the World, know the Prince of Peace, embrace the Great Joy, and follow the Living Hope. May we carry the Hope who lives within us to the hopeless of the world that they may know, We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.10
Merry Christmas! Ciloa Forever!
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. Also an author and speaker, Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read Ecclesiastes 4:12. (2) Psalm 65:5. (3) Read Matthew 12:21. (4) Read Hebrews 11:1. (5) In order, Read Acts 28:20; Colossians 1:27; Romans 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:3; and Romans 5:13. (6) Read 1 Timothy 1;1. (7) Read 1 Chronicles 29:15. (8) Read John 14:19. (9) Read Matthew 28:20. (10) Read Hebrew 6:19.
Pictures: Banner Shot: A Living Hope, a blog by Kathy Manis Findley, kalliopekathryne.com (5-16-2017). 1st Photo: Stormy Sea, Shutterstock. 2nd Photo: Jesus our HOPE, Harley’s Hope, Facebook. 3rd Photo: Living Hope by Phil Wickham, music video.