Where’s My Hope?

Things Above Colossians 3 2
“Things Above” by Laura Kestly

HIGH HOPES

Having an Outlook that’s Positively Eternal

 March is the month that includes the last phase of winter & also the official beginning of spring. For us in the northern Midwest especially, it’s the long awaited glimmer of hope of warmer temperatures and the bright & beautiful colors of creation reawakening–replacing the frozen snow-covered, brown & barren ground.

THE HOPE OF SPRING ENABLES US TO ENDURE THE REMAINING DAYS OF WINTER.

I often tell people (especially after discussing current events or other circumstances that may be out of my control), that I’m so thankful that I have ‘a Hope’. I don’t mean the kind of hope that has a trace of doubt in it—like, “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow” or “I hope he remembers to bring the mail in”. That’s an “I’m not so sure if it will happen, but I have my fingers crossed” kind of hope—it’s possible but… The “Hope” that keeps me ‘keeping’ on’ and focusing upward is the capital “H” type of Hope defined by “confident expectancy”—as in the fulfillment of a promise. It’s a certain hope (where there’s no trace of doubt) (Heb. 6:19, 10:23; Titus 1:2)!

Martin Luther King Jr. said this, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Finite means having limits or bounds/fixed. Contrarily, infinite means limitless/unable to measure. This type of hope can only come from the Divine. It’s a HIGH Hope placed in a God Who, though He was on High, was brought low so that those (like me) who were low could have a hope on High (Phil. 2:6-9, 3:20; Rom. 3:23, 5:6-11)!

  • IT’S a PRECIOUS & BLESSED HOPE that was BOUGHT with a PRICE. A Hope, through Christ Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, for those who were alienated, to have peace with God & citizenship in heaven upon its reception (Eph. 2:12-13; Phil. 3:20).
  • IT’S a HOPE that came by GRACE & through FAITH is received (2 Thess. 2:16, Eph. 2:8).
  • IT’S a SAVING & ETERNAL HOPE (Rom. 8:24, 1 Thess. 5:8, Titus 1:2, & Eph. 2:8).
  • IT’S A HOPE that focuses on the BIG PICTURE—the FOREST (not just the trees). This Hope comes from God’s perspective & doesn’t focus on earthly circumstances that will pass –but on the eternal unseen things that will last (2 Cor. 4:18).
  • IT’S A GLORIOUS HOPE THAT CAUSES ONE TO REJOICE (not be disappointed) even through hard circumstances the future glory outweighs the present afflictions (Rom. 5:2, 5; Col. 1:27; 2 Cor. 4:8-10, 17).    
  • IT’S SUBSTANCE CONSISTS of FAITH/UNSEEN with the NAKED EYE. Through tribulation, perseverance & character it’s produced & must be eagerly waited for with perseverance (Hebrews 11:1, Rom. 5:3-4, 8:24-25).
  • IT’S ENERGIZING: One can endure & abound in this hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, through God’s Word (Rom 15:4, 13; 2 Cor. 4:16).

THE HOPE OF ETERNITY ENABLES US TO ENDURE OUR REMAINING TIME ON EARTH.

Want the shadows to fall behind you? Keep your mind’s eye toward the Son and the things above where HIGH HOPE can be found (Col. 3:1-4, Heb. 12:1-2, Titus 2:13).

Laura  

ANOTHER YEAR BEGINS–2016…

ANOTHER YEAR BEGINS—2016 (if you’re counting). 

The God Who created all things, created the earth that we live in to be confined to set times and seasons (Gen. 1:14; Eccl. 3; Ps. 19:1-6, 104:19). He created man to be set within this time structure even though He himself is not, as He is eternal (Deut. 33:27; Isa. 57:15; Ps. 90:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 1:4).

Since we’re human and confined to time, we do count things—the hours of the day—the days that pass—maybe milestone years. I have a dear friend who lived to the age of 97 years. That’s a lot of years! He was a good friend in Christ and will be dearly missed. I count that a loss to me personally but I can be thankful for all the days that added up to the 14 years that we enjoyed.

The number of days of one’s life, for many on this earth, will not even come near to the years of my friend. Some lives are cut short for reasons only God may have knowledge of. If those that we have loved are Christians who have died (fallen asleep in Christ), we have the hope of seeing them again in a place where time has no bounds (1 Thess. 4:13-18, John 3:16).

Since our days on this earth are numbered, it’s best if we can have a thankful heart to count our blessings even in the midst of our losses. As the Psalmist says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). Paul exhorts the Ephesians in verse 16, to walk wisely, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Paul counted all things a loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, His Lord, for Whom he had suffered the loss of all things, yet counted them rubbish in order that he gained Christ and was found in Him (Phi. 3:7-8).

No matter the number of the year, one thing we can always COUNT ON is GOD’S FAITHFULNESS. The Holy Scriptures document and testify of God’s faithfulness. His mercy reaches unto the heavens and His faithfulness reaches to the clouds (Ps. 36:5, 57:10). The Lord is faithful and will establish you and guard you from the evil one (2 Thess. 3:3). “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thess. 5:24).

So let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful (Heb. 10:23)!

Laura