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Hope . . . for What?

Every four years presidential hopefuls offer “hope” for the future that boils down to plain optimism. The elections reveal how our culture makes decisions: Go for image and emotion rather than substance and truth.

One candidate referred to “hope” as “God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation; a belief in things not seen; a belief that there are better days ahead.” But on what basis is this hope built? Hope needs a basis of reality beyond wishful thinking. True hope finds its bedrock not what we want God to give us—but in what He has promised to give.

Like those in Jesus’ day, we long for heaven on earth here and now. We crave eternity’s blessings today, although has God expressly reserved them for tomorrow. Giving up on the hope of glory, we settle for trips to Disney World.

What has God promised? For starters, only God can “wipe away every . . . and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Revelation 21:4). Talk about hope! We struggle even to imagine such a state—a glory where we no longer toil and where our weary hope for paradise becomes a memory rather than today’s mere optimism.

Even though God requires that we put our hope in the next life, that doesn’t mean we stick our heads in the sand in this one. We have a responsibility to pray for our government and to impact our society for Christ. So we must vote. But our hopes are not in how the ballots tally. Life is all about God, remember, and not about us what He gives us.

So, our hope cannot rest in “better days ahead” promised by those who lack the power to give it. Let the brutal barrage of the political campaigns remind you of the futility of hope in this life—and the necessity of hope in heaven.

I like what George Palmer quipped shortly before he died: “I’m homesick for Heaven. It’s the hope of dying that has kept me alive this long.”

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