A serious accident has taken place and a loved one, unconscious and bleeding, is rushed to the hospital and taken immediately to the operating room. After what seems like hours of agonized waiting the surgeon comes out, and you immediately ask the questions uppermost in your heart: “How is he?” “Is there hope?”

If the surgeon smiles as he comes to you and says, “Don’t worry; he’ll be all right,” what a relief! What a surge of joy and thankfulness!

As the word and assurance of the surgeon bring hope for the recovery of the injured one, so the Christian faith gives hope for eternity. Christianity is the religion of hope. Christ is the door of hope. To his bewildered and apprehensive disciples of an earlier day he spoke the word of hope; “I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3b); and to his own of this generation he gives the same promise. But for some the time seems very long, the way very rough.

I have crossed the Pacific by boat several times. On every trip there were days of calm seas and clear skies. But sometimes the waves were high, and on occasion storms seemed to threaten the safety of the ship. Day after day we proceeded on course, with the horizons ever unattainably merging into new ones.

But inevitably the time came when a thrill of excitement ran through the passengers. Land had been sighted, and before long we would be safely in the harbor. All the time the captain and crew had known that beyond the horizon there was land and the desired haven, and the passengers had, by faith, shared in this hope. We read of our heavenly hope in the Book of Hebrews: “So that … we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this ...

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