Hope of the Ages
I hope the sun shines today. It's been three days of dreary, rainy weather here. Sunshine would be good! Unfortunately, my weather app shows a 57% chance of rain and SNOW today. So we've go THAT going for us...
I hope the Colts win today. They play the Tennessee Titans. It will be a tough division game, and the two teams are tied for second place in the AFC South. Who knows which team will win today?
I hope the Democrats and Republicans in congress can come together and find common ground, doing what's good for the country instead of what's good for their individual party and re-election. Oh, wait. It doesn't seem to work that way any more.
I hope to lose some weight this week, claiming a small victory in the never-ending battle against over-eating and under-exercising. If the past is the best predictor of the future, that victory might well be very small, indeed.
Actually, I have a hope that is grounded in much more solid ground than the weather, my favorite sports teams, the government or even my own efforts at self-improvement.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
The world is a fallen place and we people are fallen creatures. Though we are made in the image of God, we are like wrecked Cadillacs. Much that our lives reflect is a crumpled mess of brokenness, selfishness and sin. Even acts of service like serving a Thanksgiving meal to homeless people can be twisted inside into something to make ourselves feel better, rather than any real caring for others.
The good news is: God's got a great body shop! He's in the restoration business.
Read the Book of Revelation (the last book of the Bible) and when you get to the end, you see God's vision for redemption. A new heaven and a new earth. No more sorrow, pain or death. A river flowing from the City of God through a garden with the Tree of Life giving healing and life to people. It's the restoration of what God created in the Garden of Eden.
God is working by the power of love and the mechanism of grace to restore all things, including ME, to His original design. My hope for this promise is a surer hope than my hopes about the weather or the government. The work of God in my life is a surer hope than my own efforts at being a better person.
When the world looked hopeless, God sent His Son. When we were on a crash course with sin and death, Jesus took on flesh and blood, showed us the heart of God and went to a Cross to redeem us. And before He ascended to heaven, He promised to return to right every wrong, banish evil, and set up His eternal Kingdom. This is hope.
No matter how bleak life looks. No matter what storm rages. No matter what takes place. Even if the Son of God is crucified and laid in a borrowed tomb. There is hope, because God is working! And God is into resurrection!
Jeremy Camp said it well:
The same power that rose Jesus from the grave The same power that commands the dead to wake Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks The same power that can calm a raging sea Lives in us, lives in us
Jesus is the hope of the ages. I hope in Him. And that is enough.