I love these verses, because I feel that they summarize so perfectly the fact that our Christianity is based upon grace and faith, but should produce good works. The basic ideas here are crystal clear, but so profound:
1. You have a hope for your future that is permanent. This isn’t just talking about hope for better days, or hope for good grades, or hope that you will have friends. It’s referring to the ultimate hope we have because Jesus came and died for us – if we have confessed our belief in Jesus then we always know that we have been forgiven of our sins and that we can look forward to the day when He returns.
2. You can always trust that God is faithful. The reason that we are able to hold onto our hope is because we know that God is going to do as He promises us; we don’t have to be afraid that He will suddenly change his mind. He has given us grace and mercy, and He won’t take them away.
These are the internal aspects of being a Christian that bring us joy and peace, but they are not just for us – we have to move from enjoyment of these things into sharing them with others:
3. You have a responsibility to live thoughtfully. Being a Christian is not about just being happy or living life in a pretty little bubble of peace. It’s about paying attention to the needs of the world around us and considering carefully what we can do to share God’s love and peace with others.
4. You have a responsibility to challenge and support other Christians. As we try to live for God to the best of our ability, our best resource is the community of Christians around us. It’s easy for one person working alone to get tired and discouraged, but if we all work together then when one person is tired, another person can come beside and help them to keep going. This isn’t just a good plan of action; it is our job as a group of people who are commited to following Jesus together.
Take a moment today to thank God for the hope and trust in Him that you have because of what He has done for you, then begin to ask Him how you can support your Christian friends so that you can work together to share that hope with others!