We live in a world that waters down and misuses words in such a way that it reduces the meaning and strength of the words. We see two of these words in our lesson today: Hope and Peace. Hope has come to mean nothing more than a wish. I hope I get that raise. I hope I can fall asleep tonight. I hope I do well on the test. Peace is something that is calm and soothing, such as music or a nature scene. It is something we “give a chance” to. It is a hand signal, a symbol, a saying.
But the meaning of these words in Paul’s letter is far more significant. Hope is an anticipated promise, a future that is assured but also longed for. It is more like someone yearning for home knowing they have tickets in hand or an anticipated family reunion in an exotic land as you set off to the airport.
Peace is the difference between a prisoner hearing a calming song while sitting in their cell and a prisoner being exonerated and declared not guilty and set free to be reunited with family.
Don’t miss the meaning of the words as intended by Paul. Don’t miss the promise of God they convey and the way the world desires to water down and distort that promise in to something meaningless.
Peace is to be no longer enemies. We fight against God every time we choose to sin because all sin is an act against God. We can only have peace with God by being justified in Christ through our faith in Him. This is as different as healing a calming tune while in prison and being declared not guilty and reunited with long lost loved ones – they don’t compare.
Full access to the grace of God, the holies place in His temple. We can approach God as brothers of Christ and Children of a heavenly father. I do not earn this high regard. I should be grateful and acting in an honoring and respectful way.
Hope is not a wish. It is a looking forward to. My wife and I share a shopping list. If she or I are going to the store, the other may hope (look forward to) the other bringing home items on the list, but we don’t hope (wish with great uncertainty) that they will. Why else would they go to the store as a reliable and dependable family member? Knowing what is to come gives me great strength.