A Better Hope

This past Sunday, sitting in a Chili's Bar and Grill, I was forcing myself to eat a salad because #NewYearNewMe, right? I had just left a Sunday worship service and decided to have lunch with some family. As soon as we sat down, my cousin who is 10  years old and a die-hard Seattle Seahawks fan, started asking for the time. He knew kickoff for the Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers game was fast approaching and didn't want to miss it. I told him I didn’t think he could miss it because of the 15 60” TV screens surrounding us. 

Soon, the game started and within two minutes my cousin’s demeanor completely changed. He went from expectant and confident to disappointed and pessimistic. The Hawks quickly gave up two touchdowns putting the game at 0-14. Seattle fans everywhere began to get very nervous. This is an important game! It’s supposed to be very evenly matched but we were watching a blowout. In the first half, Carolina scored 31 points and Seattle scored 0. Adrian was crushed. I think Seahawks fans everywhere were. Most of them lost all hope in winning this game, and definitely in making it to the Superbowl. 

How often does this happen to us? Maybe you’re not a sports person so you don’t hope for your team to make the championship game, but we all place our hope somewhere. Some place hope in relationships or getting that job that they've always wanted. Hope is a beautiful thing- it drives us, it sustains us. It is wonderful to have hope, but what happens when what you hoped for doesn’t happen? Proverbs 13:12 tells us that when hope fails us or when we lack hope it makes our hearts sick. We all know what it means to be heartsick. It’s miserable. It’s something that no one enjoys or longs for. 

Placing our hope in people or things will fail us and leave us with a sick heart. I can’t imagine how some of the Seattle players felt after this game. They have been in the Superbowl the last two years in a row and now they didn’t even win their division. Some probably felt disappointed, more likely devastated, but there were some that didn’t have that same reaction. After the game, a group of players from both teams joined each other on the field for a moment of prayer. When most people would be ready to get violent with each other after such a passion-filled competition, these knew that their hope was not in this game. A reporter who took a photo of the group that went viral said this when recounting the experience: "It reminds you that there’s more to life than what’s on the scoreboard.” 

Take a moment and apply that to your life! There’s really more to your life than what’s on your scoreboard. It could be that you see your life as an 0-31 game where you will never win. I know I have been in that place. We look back at our actions and mistakes thinking that we deserve where we are and that this is just how it’s going to be. This is the definition of hopelessness. The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:19 tells us that if we had hope in this life only, we would be miserable. Luckily, we can hope for more than this life only. We can have a better hope. 

We can put our hope in a lot of things, but ultimately they will fail us. Putting hope in Jesus will never fail you. This hope is better than anything in this world, because he does away with the scoreboard. Your life becomes no longer about catching up or getting more but resting- knowing you already have the greatest thing in the world. A hope that will never let you down or leave you disappointed. This hope is the basis of a Christian worldview. Knowing that no matter what happens to me, Jesus is still with me. Hope in Christ takes away the scoreboard of life, and frees us to live the life we were meant to live.