During the Napoleonic Wars, in particular, the Peninsula Wars, whenever storming a breach was necessary, volunteers would be sought to carry out the action as the first wave ‘into the breach’ to take a fortress (The siege of Badajoz in Spain 1812 – for example). This was called the Forlorn Hope – it’s a forlorn Hope, because you weren’t expected to survive. Those who did survive, however, would be guaranteed promotion and even wore a patch on their uniform as a badge of honour.
Living in this world is a little bit like living with a forlorn hope. We storm the breech of life hoping to win at life. We grow up wanting to do something amazing with our lives; we go through an education system which teaches us to reach for the sky – that we can be anything we put our minds to; we set off with grand plans, imagining that we will always be fit, capable and rich enough to do it all. But the reality is that very few, if any, achieve all or any of these things – and if someone does, does it turn out to be everything it was cracked up to be?
The reality of the world we live in is that it’s broken – that it’s not all it should or could be: we suffer disappointment, frustration, discontent, toil, pain, sickness, disease, depression, distress, burnout, broken relationships, loss, sorrow, fear, uncertainty, growing old and eventually the inevitable end that comes to us all. If we started out in life knowing all these set backs were possible and many probable, we would want to stop the world and get off – and who could blame you!
The person who knows God, who’s hope is in-Christ, has every reason to have their living hope. I have found this to be true, even though I have gone through life struggles like everyone else does, they are put into a perspective which causes me to see them as temporary trials which teach me something and makes me stronger. Whatever trials one goes through, the inheritance is always secure, it never depends on how we perform. We get to look forward to living with God, in a perfect place made for us to live, with a perfect and renewed body, free of sadness, sickness, pain, suffering and tears.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”Revelation 21:4
We make the best of things as we storm the breach of life, but unlike the soldiers who stormed the fortress with the hope of receiving their promotion and glory, but with a forlorn hope of surviving, there is a way that is not so forlorn. Because Jesus rose from the grave, thereby defeating death itself, we too can hope for the same, if we believe. This provides a living hope that carries you through life and on into a rich inheritance for all eternity. This hope is available to all who trust and hope in Christ.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation [a living hope], and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”1 Peter 1:3-4