In Ephesians 2:12, Paul notes that prior to their salvation, the Gentile Ephesians had “no hope.”
Which God me to wondering. Just how hopeless is hopeless? Just what will one who has no hope say about his life?
Now not all men will recognize their hopelessness, and even if they do, not all will verbalize it. But some will and some have. Here is what a few have said about their hopelessness:
- Socrates, having taken the hemlock that would kill him, was asked by one of his followers, “Master, shall we live again?” To which the dying man responded, “I hope so, but no man can know for sure.”
- Atheist philosopher opined, “When I die, I shall rot.”
- Sigmund Freud, at age 64, contemplating the death of a beloved daughter wrote to a friend, “I do not know what more there is to say. It is such a paralyzing event, which can stir no afterthoughts when one is not a believer.”
- Writer and historian H. G. Wells commented in his autobiography, “Here I am at sixty-five, still searching for peace; but a dignified peace is but an empty dream.”
- Author and columnist H. L. Mencken commented that hope is “a pathological belief in the occurrence of the impossible.”
Chuck Swindoll rightly comments that “To the unsaved, hope is nothing more than a mental fantasy, like wishing upon a star.”
But for the believer, hope is no vain wish and no unfulfilled longing. Hope is the confidence that what God has said He would do about my sin (forgive and remove it) is true and trustworthy. Hope is the expectation that what God has said about the future (that trusting in Christ alone for my salvation I will spend eternity in His presence, in fellowship with the Triune God) is as certain as yesterday — which has already been experienced and is fixed and unchangeable.
How hopeless is hopeless? There is no depth to measure it. It is eternal and of unimaginable weight.
How hopeful is hope? It is eternal and of unimaginable glory and joy. Hope (read: confidence) in God will never leave you disappointed.