Wednesday, October 30, 2013

what is hope?

i hear a lot of talk these days about hope. our president ran on the theme of "hope" and "change." the church has picked up the baton, not to be outdone by the political rhetoric, and shouts out, "there is hope in Jesus! you can have hope!"

the only problem is, both the world and the church seem to promise that this hope is anchored in our circumstances changing and somehow life getting better, easier, and more secure now, or at least very soon.

i like the sound of this as much as anyone else. i have had a hard year and a half, quite possibly the hardest of my entire life. there were prayers that i prayed that weren't answered the way i had hoped. and if i am not careful, i could easily slip into accusation against God for being the One to cause "hope deferred that makes the heart sick." i had wanted horrible circumstances to change now, and had even come to the Lord asking for that change.

but the danger of the message that hope is anchored in change of circumstances, and linking that to hope in God, is when things don't change, when the worst possible outcome of a terrible situation comes true, our faith is left shaken.

true biblical Hope is so different than the insecure ground of just desiring our circumstances to change.

praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! in His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. these have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 peter 1:3-9

our Hope is always to be anchored in the return of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. our living Hope is not that things will change now, but that He is resurrected and will resurrect our bodies too and give us an inheritance that will never be taken away. sometimes circumstances do get better. sometimes miracles do happen. these are meant to point us to the day when He restores all things that were lost or taken, and that day is when He returns. these wonderful answers to prayer are never to anchor our hope in now. the bible is clear that all our Hope is to be placed in our beautiful Savior coming for us. maybe our misplaced hope is the reason why the Spirit and the bride are not calling out in a unified cry, "come!"

so if you are battling fear right now, if you feel like your hands are not cut out for the task before you, and your knees maybe giving out from under you from all the pressure and pain in your life, listen carefully to what i have to say:

be strong.

do not fear.

your God will come.

He will come with vengeance.

With divine retribution He will come to save you.
(isaiah 35:4-5)

this you can count on.

in this world we will suffer great tribulations. we will be wronged by other people, we will experience grief and heartache, and we will feel loss in the deepest sense of the word.

right now, you may be experiencing more pain that you even thought possible, crying more tears than you thought humanly possible to cry. He will not leave you as an orphan. He promised He would come back and make the wrong things right, and He will. not only will be return all that was stolen, but He will even raise up the bodies that sickness, disease, and death sought to destroy. every wrong will be made right. 

we cry out for God to do the miracles now, and rejoice when they do come. but regardless of if they come now or not, we keep our Hope set on His return.

and He. will. come.

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