August 17, 2021 – Reflection on “Our Hope!”

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

         What is hope? The dictionary describes hope as a feeling of expectation or desire for a certain thing to happen.

One day I thought how often I began sentences with “I hope…” I realized my hopes could really be prayers for something I desired to happen. ‘I Hope’ doesn’t make it so. The hope is then useless. I realized there is something more to prayer.

Searching the scripture, I see there is only one hope, and it is given to us because of Jesus Christ.

     There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Ephesians 4:4-7.

         Hope then is part of and through the Oneness of God the Father. Hope is the blend, or unity, of our Lord through the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Without this Oneness, there is no Hope in our lives. Hope feeds our Faith in Jesus and helps our love and Joy in Him to be steadfast and immoveable.

Our decision to follow Jesus and to love others gives us the strength to grow in our trust in Him. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:30-34.

Do we hope for things unseen or things that are seen? The difference lies in hoping to possess things of the world or hoping to receive eternal life, an unseen and free gift from God Almighty. This verse brings assurance in our hearts, And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6.

How is this possible, considering the scripture that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? Then I read Romans 8:37-39. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing in this world can pull us away from our Lord once we have given Him our lives to love and serve Him. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14.

When storms in life threaten to engulf us, or we say, ‘just this once won’t hurt’, or we want to go along with those around us. We begin to lose sight of the Hope that God has given us. How can we renew that hope? How can we surmount the evil of the world that so easily sidetracks us?

Returning to the eternal purpose in Christ Jesus, our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him. The sweetest way I know is realizing the depth of reality and way of living for Him found in the scripture.

When scripture is read dutifully, the words pass from the page to our mouth, but the ears and the heart do not understand the message until there is some meditation. What is God’s word teaching me this day?

When I was seventeen years old, I heard a missionary from near Tibet tell us about the time they fled from their house with just their Bibles during a flood. They lost everything they had, including the Bible commentaries. After that, they often sat upon a hill reading the scripture, praying, and depending on the Holy Spirit to prepare them to teach the Lisu people God’s Word.

In life things often happen that discourages us. Yet the Eternal Hope is still before us, no matter what happens in the world, we know our Father in Heaven is still in control; Jesus is waiting for the time to bring us to the place He has prepared.

        “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am, you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4.

We cannot hear the presence of God, yet He surrounds us. Adam and Eve had sinned, and they heard God. And they hid because they of their sin. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8.

         “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 23:23:24.

         How can we not have Hope Everlasting in the One who spoke these words to Job?

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7.