“In Christ Alone, My Hope is Found”: Why Jesus is the Only One Worthy of Our Hope

“In Christ alone, my hope is found…” So begins the hymn In Christ Alone which is by far one of the most sung songs of the faith in the last two decades. The hymn walks the singer through the story of the gospel and serves as a reminder that, because of His death and resurrection, the believer can have a sure and certain hope in Christ. And we should hope in Christ – as the song says, Christ is, ultimately, our only hope.

And yet we continue to place our hope elsewhere. Sometimes, for example, we tend to place our hope in leaders. We come upon an election cycle and we tell ourselves that if so and so were elected, then things would be different. We would see policy change, betterment of society, and an affirmation of moral values. While some of those things may be true, ultimately, no political leader is worthy of our hope.

Or we might place our hope in a change of circumstances. We tell ourselves that if we just made a little more money, or just had a little more freedom, or just didn’t have to report to our current boss, then things would be so much better in life. And while there might be an element of truth in that, ultimately, we cannot place our hope in a chance of circumstance either.

Ultimately Jesus is the only thing in the universe that can sustain our hope. The reason why is because He’s the only One strong enough to hold it. A little illustration might help:

When I was in high school, my physics class was assigned a project that I’m sure was not unique to our school. We were given limited material materials, mainly Popsicle sticks and wood glue, and instructed to build a bridge with specific parameters. On the appointed day, all of us brought our bridges to class and they were placed over a gap between two desks. Then small weights were systematically hung to the bottom of the bridges to text and see how much weight they could bear. Of course, in that environment, the greatest thrill wasn’t just winning the most sturdy bridge, but also watching as structure after structure was eventually obliterated under the increasing weight.

The weights weren’t added all at once; they were added slowly. One at a time. And they were added knowing that eventually every bridge would reach its capacity and crumble. No one thought that we could do something like stand on top of the bridge; though we didn’t know how much, we knew they would be destroyed under far less weight than that of a person. These structures weren’t made to support that kind of mass.

When we place our hope on anything in this world – our circumstances, our leaders, our bank accounts, our relationships – it’s like hanging weights on the bottom of them. And eventually, they will crack under the pressure. Every. Single. Time. Like bridges in the high school physics class, they all eventually sag and break under the pressure. These things were simply not designed to bear the weight of our hope.

But Jesus? Jesus is strong enough to bear it. He is the One who never disappoints. Indeed, when we place our hope in Christ and in Him alone we will not be disappointed:

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:30-31).

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