Friday, September 08, 2006

Our Hope is Not in Vain

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 of 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 our evidence, or substance of our hope.

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 to 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 for 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 to spiritual things, 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. 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 its removal, but find that nothing we do will give us relief, until we come to the cross where 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, by which 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, and will be completed also.

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 our hope and we know it is true because faith is the evidence.

-Doug Eaton-


At Sunday, November 18, 2012 5:48:00 AM, Blogger Xanthorpe said...

Doug, this is a clear truth for all who have accepted Christ. Our hope - my hope - is in Him who died for me.

However, this message of hope is difficult to communicate to those by whom grace has not been received; for whom faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit has not (yet) blossomed in their heart.

So how do you communicate this hope to people without using words like sanctification, righteousness and other churchy words that immediately lose them?

My hope is in Christ, but I would like to do a better job of sharing that hope with others according to Psalm 45:17.



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