1.29.2013

HOPE

What a sweet time of fellowship was had Sunday night! We were grateful to see so many of you, and missed those who were unable to be there. Linda Benson's testimony of a FAITHFUL GOD was wonderfully encouraging! The quotes she read will soon be posted here, along with the audio of her testimony. Keep an eye out for both. You won't want to miss it!


The word HOPE is commonly thought of as wishful thinking- we wish something would happen but we don’t necessarily expect it to. But Scripture’s definition of HOPE is so, so different from this. HOPE in the bible means to know it will happen- to have an absolute conviction, a certainty, a confident expectation. The word originally carried the sense of a rope; strengthened by being bound together. It signified a trust placed in something unbreakable; Someone unbreakable. Biblical HOPE is "the anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance." The saying, “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” is antithetical to Scripture’s definition of HOPE. So if HOPE is a CONFIDENT EXPECTATION, what reasonable grounds do we have to be so confident? We have this:

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

That’s it! We really are a simple people with a simple faith, aren’t we? We have set our entire lives on one event that happened over 2000 years ago. The Great Exchange is how we know it- Christ lived the perfect life we could never live, FOR US, and died a sinner’s death that we deserved, IN OUR PLACE, that we might be reconciled to God. That’s why our souls are anchored today in the midst of various kinds of trials, BECAUSE He did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all! BUT LISTEN! That event was not to make us confident in our salvation only; it was the YES and AMEN to everything that is written in Scripture's pages! The rest of that verse states emphatically: “How will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” It seems our confidence can often lie only in the first part of that verse, not the second. We are more convinced that we are going to heaven than that He will supply all our needs today and tomorrow, or that He will never leave us, or forsake us or that He will make us run but not grow weary. But because He did the first thing, He will INDEED do the second. So let us scour His Word to find what He promises us, trusting that if He did the greater, He will CERTAINLY do the lesser.

The bible has been described as Christ’s last will and testament. We should read it as such! It tells us what He has done for us and what He has left to us. It gives an accounting of our inheritance. Everything in it is as blood-bought as our salvation. It could be said that every promise of God to you drips with Christ’s blood for you. Vague knowledge about what He says of Himself and what He’s given us will result in vague hope. Let us not have vague HOPE!! Romans says,

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

And Hebrews tells us it is impossible for God to lie,

so we flee to His word for refuge that we might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. AMEN!