What is hope, other than something needed in large portions today? Hope is defined in my Thomson Chain-Reference Bible as “a confident expectation in things beyond this world.” We could use mega doses of such hope in today’s world. So many I know look at the state of our union and believe the situation to be hopeless. Perhaps it is and although I love my country, I’m not banking on my nation and its survival. My hope is not horizontal; it is vertical.
I am counting on what the Psalmist was looking towards and fashioned his life thusly:
“Lord, I hope for Your salvation, and I do Your commandments. My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, for all my ways are before You.” (Psalm 119:166-168)
We have for too long looked the wrong direction for salvation. We think our nation can be saved by a conservative resurgence in Washington D.C. and yet when we have such a situation things may not be as bad as they are today, but they are not what the church should expect. Our nation’s woes are spiritual and our hope must be the same. Our salvation needs to be King Jesus:
“In You, O Lord, I put my trust; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress… But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:1-3, 14)
If I’ve said this once, I’ve said this a hundred times: the ills of our nation would end if the church would only decide to stand in the gap for righteousness and Biblical truth. Matthew Henry reminds us:
A good hope of salvation will engage the heart in doing the commandments. And our love to the word of God must subdue our lusts, and root out carnal affections: we must make heart work of it, or we make nothing of it.
It is my heart’s cry to help my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to renew their hope of salvation and come to love God’s commandments and His plan for our lives. Our Lord wants us to live the abundant life not as the world sees it, but how He has designed it. The trouble is we too often place our expectations in things of this world that will eventually perish. Solomon warns:
“The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The way of the Lord is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.” (Proverbs 10:28-29)
If you need strength to get through the day, can you think of a greater reservoir of strength than the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you want to replace your sadness with gladness? Then put your hope in Jesus Christ.
It is a hope that enabled Abraham to become the Father of the Faithful.
More on that next time…
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers