Words Can Betray Us
by Noah Hefley
December 14, 2019
Words sometimes betray us. It’s true. Just when you happily grasp the meaning of a word within the confine of your mind, suddenly you find it no longer means the same. Words naturally evolve and usually devolve. I will give you an example—the word hope (elpis in Greek) used to mean certainty of a future reality. But now we merely mean by it wishful thinking about a future event. I hope so and so happens… (I wish this would happen). But there is no muscle with that kind of hope. There is no substance that invites confidence. And that’s sad. Here’s why: when scripture was written, the word hope referred to a certain future reality which would make a difference today radically. It’s not just about tomorrow because it’s about what makes a difference today. Remembering that original meaning of hope, consider this verse from Peter (the apostle of hope):
“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” (1 Peter 1:3).
This biblical idea of hope is rock-solid help for hard times. And we can use a little of that in our day. Hope is an encouraging word for discouraging times. Indeed, it is refreshing news for a weary soul. If you know in your life what it is to suffer, then you’ve got to like what the word hope has to offer. It will lift your spirit and brighten your path. It seems to me and I hope you agree: Genuine hope can be game-changing when life gets challenging. If you have hope, you will not give in to despair or give up on life. Real hope makes an actual difference!
Once again, from Sunday’s sermon—Christmas is about hope! It is so not just because of a cradle but because of a cross and also a crown. It’s not just about a baby in a cradle, but a Savior on a cross and a Lord upon a throne! Hope is given to us as a great gift by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He is our reason for hope! He is the reason for the season!
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