Wednesday, October 26, 2011

PLACING YOUR HOPE IN THE RIGHT PERSON

The church of the Holy Rood
Stirling, Scotland
     I had an interesting conversation at our office the other day with a fellow believer.  She and I were discussing the gloomy economic circumstances in our country and the world.  With the election a year away, the talk turned to who might be elected and what that individual needed to do in order to turn things around.  She was plainly unhappy with the current leaders in our government and felt a big change might help to set things right.  I told her that no matter who we elected we could not put all our hope in government to solve the issues at hand.  Rather, we need to put our hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  When He returns to this earth, every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.  She told me that I had given her goosebumps by saying that.  We both needed that reminder because it is so easy to get caught up in the present day turmoil in our world.  Where we place our hope makes all the difference in how we view life.
     King David had the right perspective when he wrote Psalm 20:7-8:  "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright."  David knew that there was power and might in an army, but his hope was in the God who had delivered him from Goliath and even the wrath of King Saul.  God's power and justice were perfect when all else failed.  Those who trust in the Lord will remain standing when everything else collapses.  To put this verse in modern terms, we might say:  Some trust in government and some in their wealth, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  This is our hope!
A sign within the Church of the Holy Rood
      Do not misunderstand me.  We need to be well informed citizens voting our conscience based upon the Word of God after much prayer.  The Lord directs us to obey our leaders,  abide by the law and live as an example.  However, our hope should be placed squarely on the Lord who alone has authority over all the governments of this world.  Romans 13:1 reads:  "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."
Our hope, our trust should be in God above not on things below.  We must remember that our citizenship is in heaven if we are a Christian.  We are here only temporarily and this is the mindset that should keep us from despairing when circumstances seem difficult.  At best, we will spend 70 or 80 years here, but we will spend eternity with the Lord where there will be no tears, no suffering, no injustice, no heartache.  In addition, we should, every day, look forward to the glorious second coming of our Lord who has promised to return.  When He does, our world will be set right.  This is our glorious hope!
      Right now, all around our world, there is famine, sickness, pain, poverty, economic woes, despotic governments, injustice, disappointment, unemployment and the list could go on and on.  Yet, for the Christian, our hope should not be man focused but God focused.  Changing leaders in government or other man made remedies will not bring about utopia as some believe.  The only "change we can believe in" is found in changed hearts made new by Jesus Christ.  When people have a new heart, we will see the difference in how they treat others and live to God's glory.  What the world needs now is the change that only Christ can bring.  This is why it is so important for us to be telling the Good News to others.  We are giving a drink of hope to those who are otherwise hopeless in this life.
      As I wrote this today, the hymn "My Hope is Built" by Edward Mote written in 1834, came to mind:
              My hope is built on nothing less,
A chapel within St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland
              Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
              I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
              But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
Refrain:
              On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
              All other ground is sinking sand;
              All other ground is sinking sand.

              When darkness comes to hide His face,
              I rest on His unchanging grace,
              In every high and stormy gale,
              My anchor holds within the veil.
Refrain

              His oath, His covenant, His blood,
              Support me in the whelming flood.
              When all around my hope gives sway,
              He then is all my Hope and Stay.
Refrain

              When He shall come with trumpet sound,
              Oh may I then in Him be found.
              Dressed in His righteousness alone,
              Faultless to stand before the throne.
Refrain.

     My friends, we can watch people "Occupy Wall Street" or anywhere else on earth, but until and unless Jesus Christ comes to "occupy" the heart of man, there will never be a change in the way we live and treat one another.  He is our Hope, our soon coming King and the only one to whom all the glory and honor is due.  He will bring justice and His kingdom will never end.  Until then, we are to be a light to all nations, and people of this earth telling them of His saving grace in the power of His resurrection.  Remember....don't look to government....look to God in whose hands all nations rest.  Selah!


How has Christ brought you hope and comfort in these days?  I welcome your thoughts, insights and encouragements here.  Please share a comment.


       

4 comments:

Petra said...

You're so right, Barabara, and I love that hymn. Your last paragraph nails it. Blessings!

Barbara Thayer said...

Thanks Petra....so glad you stopped by to share. That hymn has always been a favorite of mine too. Such words of strength and encouragement. No matter who we vote into office...only Jesus can fulfill what our hearts are hungry for! Blessings to you my friend!

Patricia said...

Excellent post, Barbara. Good and wise words. "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." Love, Pat

Barbara Thayer said...

Thanks Pat....I think we all need to keep our hope right where it belongs....in Christ our solid rock! Blessings to you!