Hope shines brightest when the darkness looms the most.
There is no need to be disappointed or apprehensive, hope is here today!
Note from Kip…
It’s not so much, ‘Grin and bear it’ or ‘suck it up buttercup’, as it is, ‘This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts‘. When we are under attack and the walls close in, there is cause for constant abiding hope. We want to explore that hope today.
(because) We know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:3-5 (CSB)
The people that told you that following Jesus was going to be a bed of roses didn’t mention the thorns that exist in that bed.
Despite that, we are abundantly blessed in our circumstance because we have today what the entire world desires if they only had the understanding to grasp it. I’m not attempting to paint a pretty picture on a torn canvas.
There is a realization that we need to arrive at, as the clouds darken and the storm settles in that our hope and joy are not dependent on our surroundings. Our hope comes from God alone and no other!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.
You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3-5 (CSB)
Now, I’m not one to fracture out segments of scripture and take them out of context. That isn’t what I’m doing here. The thing is, God’s love for us and His provision for our lives is happening now! Just as it will when we are home in heaven with Him.
God is the same today as yesterday and forever more. So His provision in our lives is no different now than after we’ve gone home to be with Him. It is true that we exist in corrupted bodies, and live in a corrupted world. While this will introduce pain and suffering, it doesn’t diminish the blessings we hold this very day through the very same grace that transported us from death to life.
He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:6-7 (CSB)
That grace, when it was applied, resulted in a change in us. Regardless of how you have invested that hope to this point, His Spirit has been poured out on us without limit, we are justified by faith through grace and have become the heirs of the Almighty God Himself. Children of the King!
Still, children of the King if we are downtrodden. Still, children of the King, if we are under siege. Still, children of the King if we don’t know when the bills in the mailbox will be paid or the next food will cross our lips. We remain, children of the King, if our lives here dim and pass away because we’ve been implanted with a living spring of life that flows eternally. We are heirs to all that God has as His Children.
Therefore we do not give up.
Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.
For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (CSB)
We dare not give up! To despair over our circumstances is only responding to the enemies prompting to lull us into defeat.
What we see here is temporary. Yes, it may become uncomfortable and even painful, but all of this is temporary. If you see it, it’s not lasting. The things that are eternal transcend our physical world and come directly from the throne of God.
This hope that is in us!
I enjoy watching ‘Pawn Stars’ on TV. Those of you outside the USA may not be familiar with the program but it is about a Las Vegas family-owned pawn store. I enjoy watching it because of the unique items which are mostly historically significant pieces from many years ago that have been preserved by their owners over time.
Last night Rick, the owner, had the opportunity to purchase from one of his customers a suit owned by President George Washington. He didn’t buy it because the price was three million dollars but would have been willing to if the price were lowered to two million dollars.
This suit which was originally a festive pink was bleached out by time and only at the lowest fringes could you detect a hint of the original color. The fabric was frail and was mounted on a tailors form to support it. You’d never attempt to put this on because it would surely fall apart doing so.
The point of this is millions of dollars in ‘value’ in this physical world. Sufficient cash to feed and house thousands upon thousands of deprived individuals. Man has established the ‘value’ of this item so grossly high, yet it’s functional value was all but negligible. Granted it has historical value to be sure, but I saw that and thought…
“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.”
Matthew 6:19-20 (CSB)
An extreme example, of earthly treasure which was undergoing it’s decay and corruption, despite extreme measures to preserve it. That’s not what Jesus wants for us. He wants our investment in this hope he placed inside our hearts, the assurance that His grace is sufficient for all our needs.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9a (CSB)
Yes, Jesus loves me. When I am weak, He is strong. This I know. This I know.
I also know that He wants the best to come to me regardless of what I see in this present time. My circumstances do not reflect the love and value that God places in me as His child.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him.
Matthew 7:11 (CSB)
Allow me to paraphrase this passage just a bit…
If you then who are corrupted by the flesh, know how to give good gives to your children, how much more will your adopted Father in heaven give good things to His children.
This isn’t out of context, it is the essence of what Jesus is saying. We are evil because of the corruption our existence is based on. We have been raised to new life and heirs of God the Father. If we, who are evil, seek to provide good gifts to our children, how can we think for a second that our Heavenly Father, would seek anything less for us?
AND HE DOES have the capability to provided! We know this! This understanding and hope abolish the darkness from our presence!
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (CSB)
We know. Not guessing, not hoping, not wishing, We know that all things work together for our good. We know this because we love God, and we are called to His purpose each and every day.
Let’s not waste those days bogged down in fear and despair, because, ‘This hope will not disappoint us’.