Friday, October 18, 2013

Our Hope in Him

 Living in this small Central Florida community we have a large number of retirees that have come to enjoy their sunset years here with us.  Some live to be in their eighties and nineties and remain very active in our town as well as in church.  As I reflected on this today, I was reminded of a story I read concerning John Adams, the second president of the United States.  He lived to be 90 years old and one morning as he took a morning stroll, another walker greeted him by asking, "And how is Mr. Adams today?"  John Adams replied, "This old tenement I live in may be falling down, but John Adams, sir, is quite well indeed."
     When we look at John Adams' words, we note that he had a keen sense that life was much more than the condition of our physical bodies.  Certainly the Apostle Paul would agree with this for he wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16:  "Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day."  Aging brings inevitable changes to us all because our bodies are imperfect and will die one day, but Paul points out that even though our bodies decay, we are renewed in our spirit daily by the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ.
     We must remember that Jesus came to offer us life that does not depend on our age or physical bodies.  He told us that He had come to "bring life, and that...more abundantly" (John 10:10).  Our Lord did not come to just refurbish our old bodies and spruce us up.  Rather He offered us life that comes from an eternal source established in our repentance and turning to Him in complete commitment.  This life will never die but will live in His presence forever.    It is a divine life which defies physical death, and one day we will have a new body that will never decay, be sick or die.
     This is the hope we have in Jesus Christ.  He came and took upon Himself our sins to set us free from spiritual death; so no matter how our physical body is today, our spirit is being renewed daily.
     When life seems gone, Christ offers us life.  When our hope is drained from us, Jesus reminds us of the abundant life He has come to give us.  This is not a hope that we can work up or do for ourselves.  Instead, it is hope based on the irrepressible and undying life of Jesus Christ being lived in us.
     There will be days when we feel overwhelmed by grief, depression, weariness or sadness, but we must remember that the cross of Christ is our promise that suffering and death do not have the final word.  The Psalmist named our source of hope in Psalm 71:5 which reads:  "You O Lord, are my hope."  This is a hope we can also pass on to others around us who feel overwhelmed by life.  We have the greatest story to offer not based on how we feel but based upon the truth of God's Word.
     John Adams knew that while his old body was not in great repair he had hope in the Lord who made him.  We, too, can have the same outcome when we look not at circumstances but look, instead, into the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ who offers us eternal life through His shed blood.  All we must do is repent and call upon Him, and He will renew our hearts daily.  Be renewed in the Lord this day and let Him encourage you no matter what you are facing for He has over come the world!  Selah!

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