Is it too much? Can’t take the news anymore? Don’t know if you can handle what’s happening in your own life any longer?
Who would deny that we are living in difficult times? For some of you, it is much more difficult than for others. Are you losing hope? Hope! Now that’s something to think about.
Are you old enough to remember “My hope is built on nothing less…”? Can you sing it? Hope. What is your hope built on? A great family? A nice house? A good job? A peaceful country? There’s nothing wrong with any of these in and of themselves. There are lots of things in life we hope for. But what is the hope of your life? “My hope is built on nothing less…”
“… than Jesus…”
“… than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” What does that have to do with my loved one getting COVID-19? Nothing. What does that have to do with the mess in Washington? Nothing. What does that have to do with losing my job? Nothing. These and many other things are legitimate concerns. But righteousness through the blood of Christ is the ultimate concern.
Sing the chorus:
“On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.”
Hope built on Jesus. Rock vs. sinking sand. Reminds us of Jesus’ conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount. Whatever minor hopes we may have in this life, let “The Hope” override them all.
Ephesians lists seven absolute essentials to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Who: one God and Father, one Lord, one Spirit. The what: one faith, one body, one baptism, and one hope (Eph. 4:4-6). The NT does mention various minor hopes. But the New Covenant message comes to fruition in the “one hope.”
Do true Christians grieve when a loved one dies? Of course! But God exhorts us to not “grieve like the rest, who have no hope… Hope of eternal life… The hope which is laid up for you in the heavens… A living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Thess. 4:13; Titus 1:2; Col. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:3).
“When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Redeemed to stand before His throne!”
Rethinking Our Hopes
If your hopes (and fears) are tied to Washington, maybe it’s time to concentrate on a better city: “The city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem… the Jerusalem that is above… the holy city, New Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22; Gal. 4:26; Rev. 21:2).
If your hopes are all about what happens in this life, it’s time to reevaluate. “If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable” (1 Cor. 15:19).
If your major hope is in your IRA, Jesus reminds you to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust [nor inflation nor market crashes] consume… Give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Matt. 6:20; 19:21).
Is the world (your world) falling apart? Sing:
“When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay.”
When the storms of life are beating you down, sing:
“In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.”
“Take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil [heaven]” (Heb. 6:18-19). Two beautiful figures: a sure anchor and a solid rock.
Let’s sing it:
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Let’s live it!