Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

An Open Letter to Closed Christians

This is an open letter to, or about, “closed” Christians. There are many kinds of closed Christians. One of the difficulties in this type of writing is that many closed Christians are so closed that they do not receive letters.

First, I will define the minimum of truth that defines a Christian.
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. (1 Cor. 15:1-5)
Second, I will define the response to this truth. There are several works that are used in this response.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matt. 11:28)

But Peter and John replied, "Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!” (Acts 4:19)

If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved…for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Rom. 10:9-10, 13)

…open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. (Acts 26:18)
These nine verbs are not synonyms, but they describe a synonymous action in that they all result in eternal life. The Lord is the object of each verb.

Third, there are descriptions of this new life in Galatians 5:22-24: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

“For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Cor. 12:13). Everyone baptized by the Spirit is part of the one body of Jesus Christ.

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called” (Eph. 4:3-4). We are to be eager to maintain the oneness we had when we entered the body.

There seem to be three biblical reasons to break fellowship with other Christians.
1. Apostasy: Those who no longer believe the gospel.
2. Unrepentant immorality: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked person from among you” (1 Cor. 5:12-13).
3. A divisive person: “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned” (Titus 3:9-11). “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them” (Rom. 16:17).
There are several ways of being “closed.” Closed means excluding from, or not participating in, fellowship with those Christians who do not fit certain standards. These standards are in addition to the ones described above.

“Closed” Christians extend the reasons for breaking fellowship beyond these three found in the Bible.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Loyalty & the Scriptures

Loyalty is a legitimate word. Bessie and I were married for 58 ½ years. I loved her as Christ loved the church the last 54 years. The first four, I loved her selfishly. In both cases, I was loyal to her.

Loyalty is a weak word. Bessie would not have liked to know I was loyal; she expected and got a lot more than loyalty.

In the Navy, I had to take an oath of allegiance, part of which says, “I will defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, public and private.” In grade school, we were taught the pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Those were required.

Where does Jesus require loyalty? Nowhere. He requires obedience. We don’t find loyalty in the Scriptures. That’s humanism. When I loved Bessie as Christ loved the church, that was obedience to God. God requires obedience.

Heb. 13:17: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” Paul doesn’t use the word loyal at all.

Volunteering is not the greatest expression of love. Obeying is. But you get credit for volunteering, and you get no credit for obeying. People like to be in charge. Volunteering is one example of this; loyalty is another.

I was loyal to the Omaha South High School Packers or to the Naval Academy football team. These were volunteer loyalties; they were individual loyalties, choosing-up-sides loyalties. There was no foundational truth under them.

I may be loyal, but I do not use the word because there are more accurate words and stronger words. There are much better words: love, faith, hope, grace, faithfulness, truth.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Health Update

When at Kootenai Hospital in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, after several angina attacks, I had a pacemaker installed because my heart rate varied from 30 to 104. Nothing was wrong, so I could have left a week ago Saturday. But I could not stand up. Dr. Williams would not release me because I did not have the strength to stand. I had lost 17 pounds. He released me to Good Samaritan until I can stand and walk.

In the meantime, Rachel, my granddaughter-in-law, had her baby at my house. She was born at 9 lbs 10 ounces. Her name is Rhona Sophia. She will be called Rhona.

Monday, August 28, 2017

How God Taught Me to Forgive

This is another excerpt from Climbing by Rosalind Goforth.

“He that doth not forgive burns the bridge over which he himself must needs pass, for the Lord hath said, ‘If ye forgive not…neither will your father forgive you.’”

The tragic story of how, but for the mercy of God, that jagged rock of unforgiveness would have wrecked me, body and soul, is given as a solemn warning to others.

The first sad details of how and why the demon of hate and unforgiveness entered my heart cannot be given, for another is involved who has passed on. Suffice it to say that those who knew the facts agree that humanly speaking one can scarcely imagine a case where unforgiveness was more justified; yet my dear husband, who had equal reason with myself for feeling as I did, quietly and calmly laid it all before the Lord and left it there, begged me to do the same; but I could not, or rather would not, forgive.

For more than a year, while the source of trouble remained at our station, I would not speak to or recognize that one. Four years passed, during which time the matter remained with me more or less in abeyance. Then one day my husband and I were traveling by train with a number of coworkers en route to the religious fair at Hsunhsien, where a campaign of evangelism was carried on. This year I had been put in charge of the women’s work there.

For months I had been deeply but secretly moved by the evident spiritual power that had come into my husband’s life. I, his wife, could not but see that he was indeed filled with the Spirit of God. There had come into my soul a great yearning that I, too, might have this fullness of Spirit.

As we sat there on the train that day, I asked my husband to sit with the others, for I wanted to be alone. When he left, I bent my head and cried to God to fill me with His Spirit as he has filled my husband. Unmistakably clear came the Inner Voice, “Write to (the one towards whom I felt hatred and unforgiveness), and ask forgiveness for the way you have treated him!” My whole soul cried out, “Never, never can I forgive him!” Again I prayed as before, and again the Inner Voice spoke clearly as before. Again I cried out in my heart, “Never; never. I will never forgive him!” When for the third time this was repeated, I jumped to my feet and said to myself, “I’ll give it all up, for I’ll never, never forgive!” I joined the others and laughed and talked to hide my agitation. Then followed the saddest part of my life. For several months, I preached and prayed to keep up appearances but all the while my heart was becoming harder, colder, and more hopeless.

Then one day that passage in the Pilgrim’s Progress came to me (I think I was reading to the children), where Christian, when going through the house of the Interpreter, came to the man in the cage who said, “I have grieved the Spirit, and He is gone: I have provoked God to anger, and He has left me.” As I read this passage, a terrible conviction came upon me that the words I have quoted were true of me. During the two days and nights that followed, I was in the depths of despair, believing God’s Holy Spirit had left me. My husband was away from home, and there seemed no one to whom I could turn. Then God in His mercy sent someone to me.

A young missionary whose wife had died under peculiarly sad circumstances, when passing through our station, came over to see me. It was evening, and the children were in bed. We sat on the front steps together while he sobbingly told of his wife’s tragic death. Suddenly the very flood gates seemed loosed within me, and I gave way to uncontrollable weeping. When able, I told all the story as I have related it, and its sad, early details, then ended with, “I have grieved the Holy Spirit of God, and He has left me!”

“But Mrs. Goforth,” he said, “are you willing to write the letter?”

I replied: “I now know what it would be to be without God and without hope, and if I could only have another chance, there is nothing I would not do.”

Again he asked, “Are you willing to write that letter?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Then go at once and write it.”

With a glorious ray of hope dawning in me, I ran into the house and in a few minutes returned with the letter. It was just a few lines of humble apology for my actions, with out any reference to the other part. Oh, the joy that came, and thankfulness that it was indeed not too late.

From that time, I have never DARED not to forgive. There have been times when or hours, or even days, the battle was on again, but always the remembrance of this experience enabled me to conquer and forgive.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Book Plug: Climbing

You may know that I am in a book ministry. I have been negligent in reviewing books lately. Here is an excerpt from Climbing by Rosalind Goforth, published in the early part of the 20th century. She and her husband were Canadian Presbyterian missionaries in North China 100 years ago. She has two other books, How I Know God Answers Prayer and Goforth of China and her husband, Jonathan, has a book, By My Spirit. They are all very good reads.
Our children were all away at school. We were together carrying on aggressive evangelism at a distant out-station. The room given to us was dark and damp, with the usual mud floor. The weather had turned cold, and there was no place where one could get warm. I caught a cold. It was a not a severe one, but enough to make me rather miserable. The third or fourth day, when the meetings were in full swing and my organ was taking an attracting part, I became possessed by a great longing to visit my dearly loved friend, Miss H., living at the Weifuifu Station, some hours run south on the railway. But when I told my husband what I had in mind, he strongly objected and urged against my going. I would not listen, even when he said my going would break up at least the women’s work. But I was determined to go and ordered the cart for the trip to the railway. As the cart started and I saw my husband’s sad, disappointed, white face, I would have stopped, but I wanted to show him I must have my way sometimes!

Oh, what a miserable time I had till my friend’s home in Weifuifu was reached! Miss H. gave one glance at my face and exclaimed: “Whatever is the matter, Mrs. Goforth! Are you ill?”

My only answer was to break down sobbing. Of course I could not tell her why. Miss H. insisted on putting me to bed, saying I was ill! She made me promise to remain there until after breakfast.

The following morning, while waiting for breakfast, I opened my Testament and started to memorize, as usual, my three verses. Now it happened I was at that time memorizing the Epistle to the Ephesians and had reached the fifth chapter down to the twenty-first verse. The twenty-second, the first of the three to be memorized that morning, read: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands as unto the Lord.” I was, to say the least, startled! Somehow I managed to get this bravely memorized. Then going on to the twenty-third verse, these words faced me: “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body.”

For a moment a feeling of resentment, even anger, arose. I could not treat this word as a woman once did, putting it aside with the remark: “That is where Paul and I differ.” I believed the Epistle to the Ephesians was inspired, if any portion of Scripture was. How could I dare cut out this one part to which I was unwilling to submit? How I managed to memorize that twenty-third verse I do not know, for all the while a desperate mental struggle was on. Then came the twenty-fourth verse: “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

I could not memorize further: my mind was too agitated. “It just comes to this,” I thought, “AM I willing for Christ’s sake, to submit my will (in all but matters of conscience) to my husband?” The struggle was short but intense. At last I cried, “For Christ’s sake, I yield!” Throwing a dressing gown about me, I ran to the top of the stairs and called to my friend, “When does the next train go?”

“In about half an hour,” she replied, “but you couldn’t catch it and have your breakfast.”

“Nevermind; I am going to get that train!”

My friend insisted on accompanying me to the station; we ate as we almost ran. With what joy I at last found myself traveling northward!

On reaching my destination, imagine my surprise to find my husband, with a happy twinkle in his eye, standing on the platform!

“Why, Jonathan,” I cried, “how did you know I was coming?”

His reply was simply a happy, “Oh I knew you would come.”

Later I told my husband frankly all I had passed through. What was the result? From that time he gave me my way as never before, for does not verse 25 of the chapter quoted go on to say: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” A new realization of the need of yieldedness came to us both, which brought blessed results in our home life.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Christian Marriage

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Matt. 19:4-6)
The marriage service says that marriage is a “holy estate.” Christian marriage is more than physical, economic, cohabiting and child bearing and rearing. It is a spiritual fellowship; it is a picture on earth of Christ and His body, the Church.
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Eph. 5:22-28)
I have seen quite a few Christian marriages break up after over twenty years of marriage, and I am watching several more in the process. Is anyone trying to stop it? Yes! However, there is encouragement for divorce from counselors, attorneys, family members, and Christian friends. Intruding, teaching, and discipline may be in order, but what is really needed is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. Each of you know friends of yours who are in this situation. Pray for the heavy hand of God to be upon them until there is repentance.

If there is any sign of trouble in your own marriage, repent to God and call for help from the saints.

In case this all sounds too discouraging, I know of several marriages that have been wonderfully saved.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Act Like It

Recently I have been meditating on Colossians 2:20-3:3:

"Therefore if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world do you subject yourselves to regulations—'do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,' which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religions, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against indulgence of the flesh. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."

If you are dead with Christ and dead to the world, act like it. Do not conform to the world. If you are risen with Christ, act like it. Let your hearts and minds be on Heaven; that is where you are going.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Confessing Loyalty As Sin

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought…What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? (1 Cor. 1:10)
Paul follows up this appeal with information on the divisions in the church. These divisions were not on theology or ecclesiology. The quarrels simply were about loyalties to teachers. To our knowledge, the teachers were even in fellowship with each other. These loyalties were sins and needed to be repented of and forsaken. They caused the disunity.

Today these loyalties are still one of the major causes of church divisions. However, today loyalty is considered a good word; it is a virtue. When it comes to following teachers, however, loyalty is not a virtue. It is a sin. It is hard to confess something as sin when we think it is good. Nevertheless, we must confess this sin.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Great Things He Hath Done

It is relatively easy to believe great things of God as in Psalm 33:6, 9:
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth....
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
It seems to be more difficult to believe great things of God when it has to do with us. These things are true:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us... (Eph. 3:20)

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Heb. 7:25)

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (Rom. 14:4)

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (2 Tim. 1:12)

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. (Dan. 3:17)

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 24-25)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Alternative Forms of Worship

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)
You would think this shouldn't be a difficult piece of advice to follow.

The voice of God thundered from Sinai in the second command. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments" (Exod. 20:4-6).

Within the month, the people of Israel were busily building an idol, a golden calf. It did not last long.

Rachel, Jacob’s wife, stole her father’s household gods. All of Jacob's sons had idols. "So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, 'Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.' ... So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem" (Gen. 35:2, 4).

King David’s wife, Michal, had an idol. "Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head" (1 Sam. 19:13).

Jereboam built two golden calves, one in Bethel and one in Dan.

In this age of tolerance, we have accepted foreign idols as legitimate "alternative forms of worship". To speak against the idolatry of Buddhism, Hinduism, or Taoism is considered bigotry, intolerance, and hatred of other people. What does God have to say about this?
Gather together and come; assemble, you fugitives from the nations. Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood, who pray to gods that cannot save. Declare what is to be, present it – let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. (Isa. 45:20-22)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Servant Leadership

There is a kind of man who has absolute authority in this world. He is the captain of a ship at sea. It makes no difference whether he is captain of a merchant ship or the captain of a navy ship.

There are two types of captains. One rejoices in the authority he has and becomes an autocrat, a dictator. The other uses his authority to become the servant of the crew. The U.S. Navy assigns the primary duty of the captain: it is the morale of the crew.

Christians in leadership positions should be servants of their followers. They should create leaders who are in turn servants of their own followers.

Friday, August 11, 2017

We Know and Rely On This

Some years ago, Bessie brought to my attention 1 John 4:16: "So we know and believe the love God has for us" (RSV).

What struck us was the two verbs know and believe. We know the love of God. We believe the love of God. The New International Version says, “We know and rely on the love of God.” Let me say it this way: We know and trust the love of God. The verse starts out with “So,” which means this conclusion is based on the previous verse. “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:15-16). That is how we know, and that is how we believe.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Barb's Wire: Children with Disabilities - A Severe Blessing

Barbara Friedman was CCM's free personal evangelist in Moscow and Pullman and was on our staff from 1973 until her retirement last year. Here is one of her old ministry letters:

About two months ago, I met this mother and her blind and autistic son, his younger sister and baby sister. This family had previously been in America and had returned to their homeland. Now they were back in the States for their son’s sake. The schools in their homeland were not equipped for children with disabilities like his. The family knew that in America their son could get the help he needed. America attempts to make it possible for those who are handicapped to live as if they were not.

The mother asked me if God was punishing her because her son was born blind and with autism. Immediately I thought about that Jewish man who was born blind (John’s Gospel, chapter 9): "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'" After Jesus miraculously healed this Jewish man, he believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the one God promised to come, and he received eternal life. His blindness from birth, rather than being a curse, was a "severe” blessing. It led to his salvation. The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent (John 6:29).

“No, God is not punishing you," I told her. "Rather, he has given you this son as a very special gift. Though all children are gifts from God, a child with a disability is even more so.”

She looked at me with surprise, disbelief, and “with all ears.” I told her that children born with disabilities are not the norm; they are not common. Therefore, this makes these children special gifts. I expressed that God really intended to bless her and the family when he gave them this son with his handicaps. What many would consider a curse was really meant to be a hard blessing.

Surely children born with disabilities will require special care and treatment, as well as much more love, much more patience, and much more wisdom. I explained that when God entrusts to a family one of these special gifts, He certainly wants to give them all the “much mores” they will need in order to do what is best. Then I compared human love, patience, and wisdom, which have limits, to God’s love, patience, and wisdom, which have no limits. This mother was well aware of her limits, her inadequacies, and shortcomings related to her son and his disabilities. “Your son’s needs have caused you to have needs that will require God's help as well as His comfort. When you believe in God and in Jesus, God will give you all the much more love, patience, and wisdom that you need in order to do what is best for your son and family. And to do it with joy! When you believe, this will be the first blessing your son will bring to the family.” She smiled at me.

At our next meeting, this mother asked, “What exactly is sin?” At our third meeting, she asked, “What really happened when Jesus died on the cross?” She was already in Heaven’s harbor waiting to dock. Well, she got docked! May God use her peace and joy and her new life in Christ to draw her family and others to the living God and the love of God.

Recently she mentioned how others felt so sorry or her because of her son’s situation and the suffering it must bring to the family. She said to me, “But we are not suffering because of our son. We have peace and joy.” I told her to use this as an opportunity to explain how she came to believe in the living God because of her son and how her son really has been a gift from God and a blessing from God.

"Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our trouble...For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows" (2 Cor. 1:3-5). If any of you are in difficulty or having trouble of the kind that seems too much, too big, too awful for you, remember that God gives overflowing comfort. There is no suffering that is too much, to big, or too awful that God’s comfort cannot down. He is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.”

Monday, August 07, 2017

Not Wishful Thinking

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor. 13:13)
We know that faith and love remain. Somehow we tend to have our doubts about hope. Perhaps it is because we have placed a 21st-century definition on the word hope. For instance, we may say, “I hope so,” meaning, “I wish it would happen, but it probably won’t.” To us, “hope” is wishy and doubtful. That is why it doesn’t sound like it belongs with faith and love.

In the Bible, hope is not wishful thinking; it is a sure thing.
God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Heb. 6:18-19)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14)
Notice: Hope is firm and secure. Hope is blessed. Hope is future. Hope is centered on the appearing of Jesus Christ.

In other words, hope, as spoken about in the Bible, is a glad anticipation of a future certainty, the return of Jesus Christ.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:20)