Suddenly, Hope

That’s how the cover reads on a recent Economist magazine. At the end of a dark tunnel stands erect an injection needle surrounded by brilliant lighting, poised like a Saturn rocket ready for launching.

All humanity’s hope must now rest on a vaccine for covid-19. This warp-speed creation of modern scientists promises a masked world the hope of deliverance from death.

For the gifts of brilliance that developed this cure for the pandemic we praise God the Creator. How gracious he is to provide relief for a weary universe. But like every human cure, this hope has its limits. As the header to the article points out, it may prove “even harder” to get enough people vaccinated to stop the spread of the plague.

From another perspective, it may be realistic for people to recognize up front that this potential cure has only stop-gap capabilities. Yes, you can thankfully say death will be denied many victims. Shut-ins isolated in retirement communities can breathe a sigh of relief, as can their shut-out relatives.

Yet this note of hope has its limits. Not a single youth, not one among the elderly, can hope that the injection of this vaccine will guarantee ongoing life. It can only delay the inevitable.

But there is an ongoing hope. That hope resides in two words. The first of these two words may seem very strange to people of today. Yet if anyone will open his mind and heart to hear, he can have hope—hope that will conquer even death itself.
The first word of hope is—repent.

The word “repent” may inspire hope because in itself it has the “ring of truth.” You know within yourself that you should repent. You have done wrong things, spoken bad words, thought evil thoughts. You have failed to speak good words and do things you know you should have done. For these sins, you need to repent.

To refuse to repent is to deny the gracious character of God. He stands ready to receive with open arms anyone and everyone who confesses their sins and turns from them. God is always the same. He does not change. Because of his gracious nature, he will receive you if you repent.

The second word of hope is—believe. Remorse, turning inward on yourself for any wrong you have done will do you no good. To repentance you must join trusting God and his son Jesus as the only ones who have the power to forgive. Look to Father and Son in faith, and they will give you ongoing life that will last beyond the grave.

Judas the disciple of Jesus coveted money and betrayed his Lord. Later he became morbid because of his sin. But he did not repent with trust in God, and he died a tragic death.

David the adulterer repented. He confessed his sin to God, looking in faith for his gracious pardon, and God forgave him. The unnamed thief on the cross repented. He openly declared that he deserved the punishment he was receiving. At the same time, he called in faith to Jesus, that he would remember him when he established his eternal kingdom. Jesus responded: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” He promised him heaven and eternal life that very day.

Now you have the opportunity to repent and believe. The possibility will not always be available to you. People in hell gnash their teeth in pain, curse God and refuse to repent (the book of Revelation, chapter 16, verses 9 and 11).

Join faith to your repentance. Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Believe in him as the Son of God sent by God the Father to save sinners, and you will have a hope that will never fail. By his resurrection, the grave has lost its victory. Death has been defeated. Whoever you are, whatever your past, repent and believe in Jesus the Savior.

Then you will have hope—a hope that will never fail. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (the gospel of John, chapter 11, verses 25 and 26).

Do you have hope? A hope that will never fail? Repent and believe. Then you will have a never-dying hope.