Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Hope is Built On Nothing Less

The subject of hope is one that is very interesting to me. Having battled depression in my life I have gone through stages of hopelessness. It is probably the lowest point to which a person can sink emotionally. I credit God's grace in bringing me through those darkest moments. I thank God that I was able to not dwell too long in that place where fear takes over and hope dies. I pray I will never experience that kind of fear again, but if I do, I know I will not be alone; my God will follow me there and hold my hand, all the while lifting me out of the despair.

I look at my life as sort of a metaphor for our country. I trusted God with all things when I was a young child. I freely gave him my heart and trusted him to provide me with everything I needed. Then as I became older, I started taking things back from him, until one day, I pretty much had it all back in my hands. I no longer trusted my God to feed and clothe me. I was an independent woman, I made my own decisions and I certainly wasn't looking out for anyone else; it was all I could do just to take care of myself. I struggled with paying my bills, I borrowed money I couldn't pay back and I hoped against hope that nothing catastrophic happened to the flimsy structure of a life I had built.

This is the point we are at right now as a nation of believers. Although, I realize that not everyone in our nation is of the Christian faith, I believe that we as Christians still have an obligation to follow our faith and obey our God or else we will never prosper; not really. Now, this does not mean we need to cram our faith down the throats of others. This means we have to accept personal responsibility in where we place our trust.

I wonder if other Christians understand that there is no hopelessness in Christ Jesus? I have heard so much discouragement and fear about the future from my Christian friends. It really saddens my heart that they do not understand the simple principle of Gods abundant grace; his all encompassing love and compassion for people - all people. If it was fully understood, then I would not be seeing the gloom and pessimism that is infecting the hearts of those who are supposed to be ever hopeful; thankful in advance of God's blessings that are sure to come our way.

In 1 Timothy 6, Paul instructs Timothy not to put his hope in uncertain things like wealth and things of this world. Instead, he should look towards God who blesses us with everything we could ever want. I think that we have missed the mark on this lesson. I think that over the years we have become complacent in our fat American lives and have put our hope in the government of the United States. We wonder now why the country is in financial crisis and we are fearful that it will get worse. You know what? That is exactly what Satan wants us to believe. He wants us to lose hope, to turn on each other and argue about who got us into this mess and how we can get out of it.

How sad is it that we are allowing the liar of all liars to win? We are playing right into his hands with our fear and our idle chatter. We need to stop. Our job as believers in Christ is to put our hope and faith in nothing but Jesus; to have faith in anything less is to secure our failure. We cannot expect a person, a government, a nation or anything else to bring us from the darkness that we are in and into the light of prosperity. God asks for our full allegiance to him; as Christians we need to honor that. We have to stand firm in our hope that God will never abandon us.

The Solid Rock

  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.
Edward Mote, c.1834 Copyright: Public Domain

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (New International Version)

17Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.