I know I shall die in hope. But that hope needs a foundation. [Jean Paul Sartre]
These words were written by Jean Paul Sartre, a famous atheist, right before his death. Even he acknowledges that hope must have some foundation, some basis of truth, for it to exist. However, we often, like him, put our hope in other things, things that we know will fail us. I placed my hope in my career, thinking that everything I’m doing now, all the sleepless nights, restless days, add up to something significant. I used to place hope in other people, thinking that if I just met one faithful, non-hypocritical Christian, I would believe in God. I placed my hope in my hope in the arts, thinking my accomplishments in this field would make me feel unique and special. But above all, I placed my hope in myself, thinking that I couldn’t rely on anyone else and that it was me that had gotten me through everything all these years, not anyone else.
But we cannot place our hope in a lie, because it will inevitably crumble under the weight of pressure. It is merely a façade. It is a Ponzi scheme, sounding great at first until we realize there was nothing there for us in the end. We think we’re too smart to fall for Ponzi schemes, but that’s exactly what we do every single day when we live as if we don’t need God. These lies we tell ourselves, that our career, other people, or anything other than God can fulfill us distract us and pull us away from the path towards God. Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ [John 14:6]. We do not have an infinite amount of time to place our faith in anything that sounds great in the moment, especially if we know the truth that Jesus is the only way to life, and therefore the only one we can actually place our hope in.
People will do anything with a tiny shred of hope. Think about all the actors and models who move to Los Angeles, hoping that because someone back home told them they were beautiful or talented, someone in LA would see that in them as well and make them famous. I’ve heard stories of people travelling all across Europe in hopes of finding their spouse again in the aftermath of World War II, clinging on in hope or desperation, or both, that their spouse is still alive. God has given us so many shreds of hope, but yet we never seem to do anything about them. He gives us hope for the future, for the present, and even for our broken pasts, a hope that’s built on the only thing that lasts: Jesus Christ.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus name. Christ alone; cornerstone. Weak made strong in the Savior’s love. Through the storm, He is Lord, Lord of all. [‘Cornerstone’ – Hillsong]