Wednesday, October 27, 2010
my hope is in the Lord
The interesting thing about this whole story, is that Jade claimed to be a Christian. A believer. A follower of Jesus Christ. A child of the King of kings. However, her actions and words did not reflect that of a person who held the eternal hope of a Redeemer. Instead, she lived defeated... hopeless... worthless... sad. And it was sad. For the joy of the Lord was not her strength. Rather, the discontentment of the enemy fueled her. When confronted about her hope of eternity thanks to God's Son, she would agree to the terms, but not actually follow through by living the life. She was stuck in defeat and the enemy knowingly kept her pinned down in his pit of despair.
As much as I would love to tell you that I was able to help and counsel Jade, she would not have it. Even today, she is still comfortable swimming in her pool of complaints. She is content to extend negativity in all her statements. However, now that many years have passed, she incorporates into her dilemmas a would-have, could-have, should-have mindset as well. What would have happened if she only did this or that? What could have happened if she married so-n-so? What should have been but never was. She is still stuck and now living in regret. (Please pray for Jade.)
While reading this, you are probably thinking, "How sad. How pitiful. I'm so glad I'm not like that!" I would likely agree that many of us have not taken our complaining to the level that Jade has taken. That said, as women we are (unfortunately) capable of falling into this same pit of hopelessness with Satan. We can easily look around and become discontent with our lives and families and nag and criticize like a champion whiner. Things can easily get broken... schedules can easily change... husbands may fail to follow through on responsibilities... parents may become overbearing... children may get into trouble. From this, we can easily carry too many burdens on our back. We can worry about things we have no control over. And while being pummeled by all this life throws at us, we can quickly become unhappy. Troubled. Worn down by all that surrounds us. But wait... we are Christians! Believers! Children of the Most High! Because of this, I want to explain a little something to you about hope.
You see, hope in earthly terms is usually considered more of a wish. It is an anticipation that something may happen. For example, when a person goes to college they hope they will complete their degree in four years. However, life could easily throw them a curve ball. They could fall ill and miss a semester as they recuperate. They could learn that their major is not what they thought and reconsider their focus thus causing them to start over. They could run out of funds and have to work a year to pay for more schooling. The hope they have to complete their degree in four years is really nothing short of a wishful expectation.
However, hope in biblical terms is this: it is an assured outcome. A confident and definite conclusion of events that will indeed occur. There is no wishing or wondering with God's promises. They are certain. In fact, our biblical hope is drenched in certainty and unchanging truth. As Christians, it is important to keep this hope at the forefront of our lives in order to proceed forward with our lives. This is the hope that Jesus gives us. A hope that should shape our attitudes and outlooks because of the promise we are assured to receive in His Name. This form of hope cannot be found in another human being or a new drug treatment for cancer. It cannot be seen in a raise or promotion. This form of hope is not about the possibility of good things that may or may not occur while you live on this earth. This hope is eternal. Forever free of doubt. It is an inevitable certainty of peace to those who have believed that Jesus is God and proclaimed Him as Lord of their life.
When Paul spoke of "looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" he was referring to an event that is definitely going to take place. Jesus WILL return to us and rule forever! Nothing can stop this fact. God has promised it. We can live confidently in that expectation! As such, we must also live lovingly and patiently work though all trials and temporary circumstances here on earth with the certain, eternal perspective of what is promised to come to those who accept the Messiah.
An assured outcome! Ladies, this is an important perspective and truth. We must check our hearts with God each and every day. We must seek Him first so that we are always reminded of the hope He has promised... the hope we truly have in Jesus who has granted us the freedom to LIVE. We must not allow the enemy to rob us of this truth. We must guard it in our hearts and cherish and be blessed by it's promise. For if we truly accept God's full promise and plan, it can change our entire outlook and attitude. It can stop our complaining. It can cause us to be content. It can give us patience and love to continue on as women who seek holiness in all areas of our lives. We must not drag down others and cause them to be weary because the trials and uncertainties of this life exist. Rather, we must rejoice in the Lord always and share this certain, definite good news with others! We have reason to celebrate in spirit. For our eternal destination and position in God's kingdom is assured. Our Redeemer lives and will reign for all eternity! Let's remember to seek His kingdom first every day so that our temporary tents pitched on this earth will not distract us away from the blessed hope and glory that awaits!
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The Devoted Woman
The Devoted Woman