DayBreaks for 9/05/18: For Some Prospect of Hope
From the DayBreaks Archive, September 2008:
Right now as I write this, I have friends in Florida who are hoping that Gustav will bypass them. Unfortunately, that will mean that it strikes somewhere else…almost with a certainty, barring a miracle or the Lord’s return. Hope. It fuels us with the vital energy we need to face the future – a future that is mostly unknown to us.
There are those who have reasonable hopes – and then there are those who have crazy hopes. Just look at how many people buy lottery tickets each day. That’s an example of crazy hope if there ever was one.
Let me say, before proceeding, that God is the God of hope. It is clear: nothing is impossible with God. God could extinguish Gustav as simply as a child blows out a birthday cake candle. Will He? That’s another matter that at this point in time, only He can answer. But as humans, we often are so desperate for hope that we put our hope in things that aren’t worthy of our hope. We like to put our hope in things we can see, hear, touch or count. Somehow, those things have a solidity to them that gives them gravitas – seemingly more weight than the things which are unseen. But that can be very, very dangerous. Listen to these words from the pen of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “But to deviate from the truth for the sake of some prospect of hope of our own can never be wise, however slight that deviation may be. It is not our judgment of the situation which can show us what is wise, but only the truth of the Word of God. Here alone lies the promise of God’s faithfulness and help. It will always be true that the wisest course for the disciple is always to abide solely by the Word of God in all simplicity.”
I’m afraid we’re prone to deviate from the truth sometimes in our pursuit of some prospect of hope. Instead of placing our hope in the Truth, we place our hope in our ability to figure out some answer that we believe will give us hope. But is a hope born of our own wisdom and therefore a hope that is built on very shaky premises. It doesn’t take much of a deviation from the truth for the deviation to become a tool of the Destroyer.
1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV) – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In 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 can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. According to verse 3, there is a hope that is described as “living hope.” That implies to me that there is a hope that is a dead hope. If we’re putting our hope in our judgment, analysis and reason, in a political system or politician, in an earthly king or the courts or anything on this earth – may heaven have mercy on us all.
PRAYER: Keep us, Lord Jesus, from putting our hope in our own ways and our own thoughts. Reward our hopes that rest on you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.