I love the prologue by Charles Colson in the 1994 Steven Curtis Chapman song â€œHeaven in the Real Worldâ€:
“Where is the hope? I meet millions of people who feel demoralized by the decay around us. The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws we pass, or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people. And that’s where our hope is in this country. And that’s where our hope is in life.”
…thatâ€™s where our hope is in life.
This past weekend at our menâ€™s retreat our pastor asked the men why did we come? I answered that I came to keep my focus on the blessed hope we have in Christ. With all that I do and see, there is much reason to lose hope in this world. It is easy to become cranky and cynical. It is dangerous to become too critical of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
The American Church has lost sight of our blessed hope. Weâ€™ve turned our eyes to man and taken them off of God. Weâ€™ve got to the point of what Dr. Rogers once said: â€œAmerica has become so pragmatic that we no longer ask if it is the right thing to do, but will it work.â€ (See: http://wp.me/prGJ2-1P5)
I think we lose sight of our blessed hope in Christ because we forget Godâ€™s purpose in Christ:
â€œThus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.â€ (Hebrews 6:17-20)
Is your soul anchored in the sure and steadfast hope that is Christ Jesus? Or are you to the point you think anyone would be better than Barack Obama. Let me ask you this? Can any of us say with 100% certainty that Mr. Obama is not Godâ€™s man whom He has set before us? Iâ€™m not saying God would approve of the Obama Administration any more than He approved of King Nebuchadnezzar, and yet God still used the evil king of Babylon to bring repentance to Judah. And He didnâ€™t release them from the grip of evil until true repentance had come.
Beloved, true repentance in our day is not â€œAnyone but Obama.â€ It is not in the singing of â€œGod Bless America.â€ It is not in the Tea Party movement, a conservative resurgence, or a Republican takeover of Congress and the White House. It will happen in America the same way it happened in Ancient Israel.
â€œAt the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God. And I said: â€˜O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day. And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage. For we were slaves. Yet our God did not forsake us in our bondage; but He extended mercy to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to repair the house of our God, to rebuild its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem. And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandmentsâ€™…Now while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly.â€ (Ezra 9:5-10; 10:1)
If you study Godâ€™s history with the Jews, He always left a remnant to build upon at the time of repentance. There is a remnant in His Church today that He can use if we will rise up and join our Ezraâ€™s in weeping for our nationâ€™s sins. Would to God a very large assembly of men, women, and children return to God, weeping very bitterly over our nationâ€™s sins.
Beloved, we need not fear the future nor believe it is all dependent upon the election just over a year from now. If we wait until then it may be too late. We have the same hope today the Apostle Peter wrote of nearly 2,000 years ago:
â€œBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faithâ€”the salvation of your souls.â€ (1 Peter 1:3-9)
Where is the hope? Where are the answers to the challenges we face today? In the same place Ezra and those who came before us. It is in the immutability of Godâ€™s counsel; in His never-changing Word. Let us not look to man or politics for our answers to the issues we face.
Let us look unto the author and finisher of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And let each of us answer this question: â€œHow genuine is your faith?â€
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers