Sometimes it’s hard to go on. We place our hope in “things” (jobs, cars, possessions) and in our fellow man, but too often those hopes are dashed. We petition God in prayer, and if His answer is something other than what we want, we lose hope or blame God for not caring. Even Paul came to the end of his rope at times.
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8).
Fortunately, Paul and his companions survived the ordeal. There are many disappointments in life, and those times of testing make us stronger if we realize that our hope doesn’t depend upon situations or people. A Christian’s hope is in Jesus Christ.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
This beautiful hymn, “My Hope Is Built,” was written by Edward Mote, a cabinet maker and pastor. The words came to him as he wanted to write a hymn about the joy of Christianity. He wrote them down, then put them in his pocket. Later, he visited a friend whose wife was very ill and wanted to see Brother Mote. During the visit, the words were read to the woman, who took great comfort in them.
We never know what twists and turns life will take, but the hope we have in Jesus Christ makes every bad time easier to bear, and every good time even better.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).
If you’ve placed your hope and faith in anything but Jesus Christ, then you have no hope. The worries of the world will overwhelm you with despair. Christians have hope of everlasting life, so no matter what befalls us today, our eternity is secure.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
Jesus is the light of the world, but troubles can sometimes blind us to His pure light. Jesus said “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5).
His light never fades, but too often we are blind to His light because we allow the storms of life to make us forget that He is always with us. This isn’t a new problem for followers of Christ. Even the disciples allowed fear to get in their way of finding peace through Jesus. Once when they were crossing the Sea of Galilee, a violent storm suddenly came upon them. Jesus was sleeping peacefully, but His disciples were terrified. They hurried to Him and fearfully accused Him of not caring whether or not they sank.
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39).
The disciples were people just like us. They trusted Jesus completely when nothing was going wrong, but when a storm arose, they allowed their fear to muddle their thoughts… they were convinced He didn’t care. Satan will use every storm in life to put doubt into our minds. Jesus Christ is with us during peaceful times as well as when storms hit and we despair of life. Don’t allow doubt to muddle your thinking. Jesus loves each of us, and He is our hope during life’s storms. He is our anchor.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When God makes a promise, He never goes back on it. He made a covenant with Abraham which gave Abraham the land of Canaan forever, as well as the promise that Abraham would be the father of nations. The evidence of that covenant is circumcision, which involves shedding a bit of blood.
“This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed” (Genesis 17:10-12).
The Old Covenant was fulfilled by Jesus Christ, God incarnate, who shed His blood and established the New Covenant. “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).
The New Covenant is not only available to the seed of Abraham, but to Gentiles also. Placing your faith and hope in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God Almighty, makes you a part of that New Covenant, and nothing can break it.
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20).
No matter what happens in this life, if you’ve accepted the blood of Christ for salvation, you can stand firmly upon the fact that your sins are forgiven and your true home is with Him eternally. If you’re facing overwhelming fear because of the happenings in the world, be of good courage. He is your hope. Maybe you’ve had some bad news about your health, or you’ve lost your job, or your marriage is in trouble. Whatever storm you’re facing, remember His promise to you.
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).
If you believe in Him, then you’ve been adopted into His family. Don’t despair or feel overwhelmed with fear. Trust Jesus to see you through. Hope in Him is never misplaced.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
Are you listening for that trumpet? “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
Many people die each day, and many of them had rejected Christ. They placed their hope in good works or some false god that cannot give everlasting life. Their hope was in vain. Only we who have accepted the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation have the hope and assurance of eternal life. Not everyone will die. Very soon we’ll hear the trumpet sound and find ourselves standing before our precious Redeemer who shed His blood for our salvation. Only righteous people can stand before God, but nobody is righteous. We are all sinners who are far from good, let alone righteous. It’s not our own righteousness that gives us the hope of eternal life.
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:23-26).
Only faith in Christ imparts His righteousness to you and to me. Only faith in Him will allow us into Heaven.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
Where have you placed your hope? Is it in a mere mortal man, is it in your own good works (which are nothing more than filthy rags in the eyes of God), or is your hope in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (2 Corinthians 1:9-10).
I stand on Christ, the solid Rock. How about you?
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God-breathed.
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