Question: "What is the blessed hope?"
Answer: Titus 2:12–13 says that the grace of God teaches us “to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” This passage identifies the “blessed hope” as the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ, our great God and Savior.
The word blessed can mean “happy” or “beneficial”; our hope is “blessed” in that Jesus’ return will be an amazing, joyful experience for the believer in Christ. We will be blessed beyond measure when we see Christ. The trials of this life will be over, and we will see that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). The word hope does not communicate uncertainty, as in “I hope that something might occur”; rather, it is the glad assurance that something will take place. Jesus is our hope, and no one can take that hope away. “Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
The “blessed hope,” then, is the joyful assurance that God will extend His benefits to us and that Jesus Christ will return. We are waiting for this event now. Jesus said He would return (John 14:3), the angels said He would return (Acts 1:11), and the epistles say He will return. Jesus could come back at any time for His church, which includes all believers in Christ from the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 onward. This event is called the rapture. It will be announced by the voice of the archangel and God’s trumpet call. The bodies of those who have died will be raised to be joined with their souls, and then the bodies of those believers still living on earth will be changed into a body like the Lord’s resurrection body. The believers raised from the dead and the believers living at Christ’s return will meet the Lord in the air and be taken to heaven. They will “fly the friendly skies united” (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18). This will happen in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52).
Should this blessed hope of Christ’s any-time return have an effect on the believer in Jesus Christ? John wrote, “All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as [Jesus] is pure” (1 John 3:3). The believer anticipating Christ’s blessed return will seek to live, in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, a life of purity. We will all stand before the Lord and give an account of how we lived for Him on earth (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Jesus’ imminent return should motivate the believer to live godly in an ungodly world. The word looking in Titus 2:13 is the key for that to happen. To be “looking” means that we live each day in continual anticipation and expectancy, with the conviction that Jesus could come at any time. That hope becomes a transforming reality in this life, resulting in God being glorified through us (1 Corinthians 10:31). The blessed hope brings us joy and cheers us through the trials of this world. It should also cause us to stop and evaluate our thinking, words, and actions.