In my last post, I wrote about how the new year can bring an energy with it. It’s a natural, built in reset button for your life. I think for most of us that energy comes from the fact that we’re placing a specific hope in the new year. Hope in a new job, a new relationship, a promotion, increase in pay, success, recognition, the chance to start over, etc.
However, at the end of the day, these things were never meant to be able to carry the full weight of our hope and will always disappoint. We’ll either achieve these hopes and realize they weren’t what we had imagined them to be or we’ll fail to reach our goals and deal with disappointment.
Like any good Texan, I’m an amateur Lonesome Dove scholar and a few of my favorite lines comes from Augustus “Gus” McCrae. In the first, he’s talking about Jake Spoon in a conversation with Lorena. Jake is promising that he’ll take Lorena to San Francisco and this is what Gus says about Jake. “Jake’s too much of a leaky vessel to put much hope in.”
In another conversation with Lorena, Gus talks about her obsession with placing her hope in San Francisco and how it won’t make her happy. He says this, “You see, life in San Francisco is still just life. If you want any one thing too badly, it’s likely to turn out to be a disappointment.”
I believe this to be most of our lives. We place our hope in leaky vessels that can’t carry the weight of our expectations and leave us disappointed.
So what are we supposed to place our hope in?
I think we can find our answer from who many scholars call the “apostle of hope” – Peter. In 1 Peter 1:13, he says it this way – “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13
Our hope is to be set fully on the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Peter is calling us to set our hope fully on the grace to be brought to us at the second coming of Jesus. The question that demands to be asked is “Why?” Why the second coming?
I think the answer is this – when you have lived enough life and have experienced the brokenness of the world you begin to long for Jesus’ return.
The apostle John describes the new heavens and the new earth this way:
 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:1-5 ESV)
In the new heavens and new earth, everything sad will become untrue. There will be no more cancer stealing away life from those we love, there will be no more need for children’s hospitals housing sick and dying children, and there will be no more horrific stories of 12 year old girls getting sold into sex trafficking. There will be no more war, famine, disease, poverty, sin, mourning, pain, or death. Everything – everything – that has ever caused a tear from pain, sadness or heart break will be no more and that’s a beautiful thing.
So where are you placing your hope in 2016? Are you placing it in a leaky vessel that will surely disappoint? Or are you going to place your hope in the one being sturdy enough to hold the weight of all of it?