It’s found in a relationship…
May 22nd, 2019
Devotional topics are delivered to me in a variety of ways. Often, they will come out of a sermon I’ve heard recently where some element of the sermon struck a chord in my heart narrows my focus to that issue. Other times it will be as random as a single word that springs out of a page. The ‘topic triggers’ seem to be everywhere. This morning it was ‘hope’ that was springing to the forefront.
One of the default scriptures that many references for hope is in Jeremiah 29:11. A lot of folks take this passage out of context. This actually isn’t really to their detriment in most cases, because there is a transference of the essence of the passage apply to us because we are God’s people, just as were the Israelites.
This concept is based on the confidence we have in Jesus being the same at all points in the past present and future.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 (CSB)
Layered on top of this consistent nature of Jesus is the fact He and the father are one. Jesus stated this directly in John…
“I and the Father are one.”
John 10:30 (CSB)
So, when we encounter passages reflecting the attitude of God toward his people, that consistent nature applies that same attitude towards us as it did those who God was speaking to so long as we have a similar association.
For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 (CSB)
In the case of Israel’s exile to Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar II had captured them and taken them back with him to Babylon as part of his looting of God’s people. They longed for their home and God felt their plight and responded letting them know this current situation would not stand, because their God had plans for them which were for their “well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Just as they were God’s people, by virtue of us serenading our lives to Jesus we are then associated with the people of Israel and consequently can anticipate that God’s attitude toward them can be applied to us today.
So, while God was talking about Israel and their condition of bondage under Nebuchadnezzar, we can take solace because just as God had plans for the good of Israel, he also has similar plans for us.
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 5:5 (CSB)
The hope within the true disciple of Jesus is profound and everlasting. We can and will go through trials that at times have the appearance of being able to crush us emotionally, financially, and even potentially physically; but despite of the ill that befalls us, that hope abides.
There is constantly something greater awaiting the disciple, than the sum of the troubles we experience.
This constant hope is reflected in the 23rd Psalm which most are familiar with that depicts the Lord as the shepherd and us as his sheep. The Psalm relate God nurturing care for us despite dangers and snares that abound around us. His care for us when we are injured by the harshness of the environment. His protection against treat. Then in the last verse, the scripture says…
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.
Psalms 23:6 (CSB)
There it is again; hope!
Hope that his goodness and love will pursue us throughout the duration of this life and that it will persist through eternity.
How did I get that out of that single sentence?
When the Psalmist says he will be pursued all the days of his life, the reference to ‘days’ can be assumed to be the time we have here in this physical world; because we live in space and time today. But when time is done with us, our living continues through eternity.
When we are at home with God, there will be no night, no scale of time. We will live in forever, evermore as we “dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I (we) live.”
Framing the hope and promise of the Lord throughout the ages into the evermore. Now that is some kind of hope!
We get there by embracing he who sought us out of the darkness.
Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
John 3:18 (CSB)
Some feel that being a Christian is all about avoiding hell and security a place in heaven for us in the afterlife. (there is an oxymoron for you, LIFE begins with our spiritual birth in Christ Jesus and has no ending!) But with this hope in an existence with God in harmony with him and his designs for me is sufficient cause for me to regardless of the existence of heaven that awaits.
Jesus told us we are to be the Light of the World. Sharing the light, he implanted in us to a dark world.
Each of us has been enlisted into the battle for souls with the issuance of the Great Commission. We all are to ‘Go’, make disciples in the same fashion God has crafted us, baptizing them and teaching them how to obey everything taught us by Jesus.
If that hope is in your, the responsibly is yours.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”
Matthew 9:37-38 (CSB)
Let us go out into the field and work the harvest. Where “Hope Springs” forth from the new disciples that are waiting to hear the Good News! There is hope in a relationship with the Creator!
In the Grace of Jesus!