Monday, January 5, 2009

Hope is Confident Expectancy.

Now is the hour for Christians to know their hope is in Christ. Others are looking for answers in impossible situations. When they see us hopeful no matter what; they will want to know what makes us tick.

Hopelessness is a sad word. There are others:
Poet T. S. Eliot: “The saddest word in the English language is, of course, ‘saddest.’”
Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II: “But.”
Writer John Dos Passos quoted John Keats: “Forlorn! the very word is like a bell.” Psychiatrist Karl Menninger: “Unloved.”
Statesman Bernard M. Baruch: “Hopeless.”
President Harry Truman quoted John Greenleaf Whittier: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”

John MacArthur explains hope writing that...True hope can be based only on a true promise, on confidence in someone who can perform what he promises. Hope is a profound blessing that gives meaning and security to life. Living without hope of future joy and enrichment reduces man to a piece of meaningless protoplasm. Hope is the consummation of life, the confident assurance that we have a blessed future in the plan of God.

Hughes writes that...The first century was an age of suicide. There was no Messiah, no hope. That is the way it is today also, apart from Christ.. (Hughes, R. K.: Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ. Crossway Books)

Spurgeon said regarding "Ye were without Christ ... aliens ... strangers ... having no hope . . . without God. Savior, Christ Jesus."

Hope is the looking forward to something with some reason for confidence respecting fulfillment. All of these aspects of Biblical "hope" were something the pagan Gentiles sorely lack.

If there is no hope, all is lost. Without hope there is nothing. The promise of God is the only foundation of hope, and therefore those to whom there is no promise have no hope. (Hodge, C. A Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians. London : Banner of Truth Trust, 1964)

If your only identity is in your career and you're handed a pink slip; or you lose your home because of escalating mortgage interest and you can't imagine foreclosure; and if you are faced with your spouse saying they don't love you anymore you can feel hopeless. These are some of the pains in those areound us.

Those apart from Christ typically wrap their lives around things and refuse to think about ultimate reality. The escape can be very intellectual on one hand, or on the other an eternal Nintendo game. As a believer who has found hope, I cannot imagine living without God. The word which describes all of this is alienation.

How will you encourage someone based on your hope in Christ?


sailorcross said...

Hi Kay!!

As we talked about yesterday, my work situation does not allow for direct speaking of God's Word to others. But, as you told me, the Holy Spirit is still placing ways to instill hope in others.

I was in that hopeless place, and a co-worker led me back to Jesus who is now my hope.

She has since told me--3 years later--that when she felt God nudging her in my direction that she was very hesitant but felt the urgent need to obey. Why was she hesitant? She had the impression that I didn't even like her!!

The sad reality of this is at that time of my life I didn't like anyone--including myself!

So, I'm praying this morning for the Holy Spirit to lead and direct me to those that need hope in their lives.

Just a short story--One morning a patient came in and I greeted her by name. She just smiled at me. But then, the practitioner that she saw told me later that she asked how I knew her name. That just this small recognition made her feel wonderful inside.

Small things do count!!


Anonymous said...

I am seeking to be His Light this year. I just want to Radiate Jesus, so others will see His hope in all I do and how I live out my life. That is a big order, believe me, just living in the Truth, truthfully, But I know God will streangthen me as I live to bring Glory to His name. May we all be fililed with the hope and expectantcy of God this Year. Jesus is gonna Shine in 2009!

Red Letter Believers said...

What a wonderful analysis of hope. Currently the word is just a political phrase, but in biblical terms its a reliance on the Almighty for salvation and strength -- its a certainty!

I just love this post and the 'hope' it provides to me in this day.

Joyfulsister said...

HI Kay,
Lord where would we be without your hope. I see people without hope and I hear people talk about being in hopeless situations. I pray that even through this tough times with the economy and all that they who don't know the Lord will use the oopurtunity to seek him along with the help they are getting from the churches for food and assistance.

Great Post Hugz Lorie

Chris Godfredsen said...

Hope is confident true. Jesus Christ is all the hope there is, He is all we need. I especially love the fact that the all powerful, supreme being of the universe can orchestrate any scenario he wants, and yet calls us to enter into His work with Him.

He has called you into His work, He is calling me into His work and millions more. Some friends have coined the word humfident - humbly confident that Christ is at work in us and through us to provide HOPE! HUMFIDENT 2009 will be great in your world.

Grace and Peace

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.