The Ultimate Hope

Since our dear Mom passed into eternity a few weeks ago, I have been thinking a lot about hope. I started reading John Eldredge’s All Things New which talks a lot about hope. Last blog, I quoted John a lot concerning the deep longing for hope that we all have.  I want to share some more insights John has about hope in this blog.

John says there are three kinds of hope:

For not all hopes are created equal; there are casual hopes, precious hopes, and ultimate hopes.


… Casual hopes are the daily variety: “I sure hope it doesn’t rain this weekend”; “I hope we can get tickets to the game”; “I really hope this flight is on time.”


… those casual hopes are nothing when compared to our precious hopes: “I hope this pregnancy goes well”; “I hope God hears my prayers for Sally.”  …


Deeper still lie our ultimate hopes, our life-and-death hopes. I would suggest that the only things that belong in the category of ultimate hopes are the things that will destroy your heart and soul if they are not fulfilled. “I hope God can forgive me.” “I hope somehow my mistakes can be redeemed.” “I hope I will see you again.”


Eldredge warns us not to allow these three different types of hope to carry the same weight with our heart and soul.


… many people have let their hopes go wandering—they have made casual hopes into precious hopes and turned genuinely precious hopes into critical or ultimate hopes.

That is a dangerous path for us. When we put too much weight onto our casual hopes or even our precious hopes, we are setting ourselves up for deep disappointment and hurt.

But what are our ultimate hopes? Many years ago, my friend  Kit McDermott told those who came to the Center for Renewal to learn how to listen to God, that “Everything Matters”. How does that tie to hope and to John Eldredge’s book?

Sitting with my Mom those 6 days while she was in a coma, you can easily drift into thoughts about “What matters?” “Can she hear us?” “Does it matter what we say in her presence?” “Does her life matter right now?

Eldredge’s understanding is that the ultimate hope is in the renewal of all things (thus the title). We are not going to go to some ethereal cloud based dwelling and play harps. Rather, he believes that God has shown us through the scriptures, that He is going to renew all things. Everything that is good on this earth will be renewed and made better. Every mountain vista that took our breath away will be restored and made even better. Every vocation that fulfilled a deep longing in us will be perfected and provide even more joy. Every relationship that we ever had will be made right. Our renewed bodies which are broken and battered will literally take our breath away.

We have lost many things as we’ve passed through the battlefields of this war-torn world; our humanity has been stripped of such essential goodness.

Then he states what I would say was the theme of the book.

Nothing is lost

By this I am fairly sure he means: “No good thing is lost.” As I think about and mourn the loss of our Mom, this gives me hope. An ultimate hope. All the years that she was a faithful mother of four children (five if you count my Dad who often was a big kid); all of those years as a dedicated wife and daughter and sister. All those years of waiting after my Dad’s death.

No good thing is lost. In that there is ultimate hope. And this hope will not disappoint.

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