AN EXPECTANT HOPE

30 10 2017

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A Believer’s faith in God was never meant to be stagnant or static. As a matter of fact, if you are not in a state of constant growth and moving forward, you end up going backwards.

One of the ways to evaluate whether your faith is genuine is that you are allowing the Jesus you believe in to transform you from the inside out. The God who works in you will also work through you and life will be different because of your connection to the Christ.

 Another striking bit of evidence that confirms you are the real deal and a true learning, active disciple of Jesus is the presence of the love of another kind coming to you and working through you. This love is not the superficial kind that looks good but has no depth of substance. This love labors and produces new life. It means the investment of your own precious blood, sweat and tears but in the end you give birth to something super. Childbirth is a great illustration of this process. No Mama to Be enjoys being in intense pain and allowing her body to be taken to the limit of what any human being should be able to stand. My dear wife had words come out of her mouth while giving birth that made me shudder but that was the cost to see our children be born into this world. When God’s love is alive and well within the Church, there are lots of new births happening all around. Love coming in and spilling out also equips the Body of Christ to gain constant spiritual stamina producing a gracious hope that keeps it running long after others would have fallen by the wayside.

 As many athletes will tell you, running lots now ensures that you will still be running strong later when you’ll need to run the most! Practicing the presence of the Lord now, keeps you pressing on when the pain will want to write a different story. We run and we run and we run again and we do so with purpose in every step. Why? Because Christians know beyond a shadow of a doubt that with Jesus, the best is still yet to come!

 Before an individual receives the gospel, they are stuck without hope and without God in their world. And when people don’t worship God, the best they can do is lift up man-made plateaus wrongly assuming that obtaining these goals will fill the holes in their hungry hearts. They worship these idols without realizing they are bowing their knee to a personal deity that will never deliver what is being expected of it.

 Psalm 115:3-8 gives a vivid description of what it means to worship an idol. It reads,
“Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.” Those who make up their own gods will be like them. They are temporary. They are outwardly wasting away. The weight of true hope can’t endure when all you get from your man made worship is empty and disappointed hearts.

What is hope? Ordinarily when we use the word hope, we express uncertainty rather than certainty. We talk about the future in ways that we mean well, but we don’t the capacity to make it happen. It is out of our hands. It is beyond our control. Biblical hope is a confident expectation and desire for something good in the future. Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future; it expects it to happen. And it not only expects it to happen; it is confident that it will happen. There is a perfect certainty that the good we expect will be done.

 When the word says, “Hope in God!” it does not mean, “Cross your fingers.” If God has said it will happen, even though we don’t know when, we can live like we hope the Lord will because the Lord will! This allows us to have stability in our spirituality even under trials. We walk by faith with no intention of bailing out. Christianity makes us too legit to quit. For the Christian, hope is a confident expectation that the future is in God’s hands, and he is working all things for our good. 

 If we really believe the Lord is coming again, we will live our lives accordingly to that truth.

We should begin each morning wondering, “What if Jesus comes back today?” We need to be ready because God has told us to keep one eye on the task ahead of us and the other watching the skies. We will prove our faith and show our love by serving Jesus until we finally see Him face to face! Because we have God’s word on it, it is not a matter of “If it will happen,” “It’s a matter of when!”

You are more than what you have become. Remember, you are a child of the King! Put your complete hope in that! Hope in what God says about you. Hope in the truth of where God says you are going. When in doubt, remember what Jesus said. Remind each other that this world is not our final destination. It is a wonderful place to find God and grow in faith but it isn’t Heaven. Paradise is not a pipe dream. It is not a fairy tale. It is the promise that Jesus made to all who put their trust in Him. Hand over your burdens and put your hope in God. You can be sure that it’s the only sure thing around.

 


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