Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Evidence of Things Unseen

But I will hope continually. Psalm 71:14

Hope is one of God's precious gifts to us. As we meditate on hope, we must realize people hope in all kinds of things that will eventually disappoint them. The atheist hopes there is no God, because he knows the consequences of such a belief if there is one. The farmer hopes for good weather for his crops. Sometimes it happens, other times storms dash his hopes. So what is different when it comes to hoping in the Lord? How do we know that our hope is not in vain? What is the evidence that what we hope for is true even though it is yet unseen?

To answer this question we must look at what hope in Christ implies. The very fact that we need to hope in Christ, shows us that we realize something about ourselves that many never see or choose to acknowledge. What we see is that we are not what we should be. What we see is our depravity, and we long for deliverance. On top of that we have lost all hope that our good works will do anything for us. We have come to a point where we say, "Jesus, you are my only hope of righteousness” If we did not see these things, there would be no reason to hope in the Lord.

This is significant because of how we got to this point. Scripture tells us that we are dead in our trespasses, blind, and slaves to sin. What this means is we were lost and didn't even realize it. We were so blind that we couldn't even see our condition. But God in his grace began to reveal our condition to us through His Word, using preachers, teachers, friends, and family to show us the truth. He then went on to convict us with His Holy Spirit, to where we had nowhere else to turn. Like Christian in Pilgrims Progress, the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to recognize the burden of sin that is on our back. Because of this, we clamor and strain for it's removal, but find that nothing we do will give us relief, until we come to the cross and our burden falls off and rolls into Christ's empty tomb never to be seen again.

We are now free, and by grace we have been saved through faith. What this means is God's grace reached out to a lost sinner and opened our understanding which was darkened, showed us our burden, and gave us only one option for it's removal, which was Christ and His sacrifice. His grace being effectual, left us with no option except to willingly run into his loving arms. Thus, through Christ's grace He gave us faith, which is how we are saved.

So what does this have to do with hope not being in vain? Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now FAITH is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things unseen. The very fact that we have faith, is evidence that what we hope for is real. Why? Because you could not have faith unless God did his work of grace in you, and if God did this work then we know the rest is true.

So like the Psalmist I will hope continually. Though all of the promises have not yet come true. I know one day my sanctification will be complete, glorification will mine, and I will be with Him face to face, where there will be no more pain and sorrow. This is my hope and I know it is true because faith is the evidence.

-Doug Eaton-


At Sunday, April 23, 2006 5:27:00 AM, Blogger Michael Touchton said...

Amen, your words seem to always lift me up by pointing me to Christ. I thank you for your writing and the time it takes you.


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