Wednesday, October 15, 2014

God's Grace - The Source of Our Hope

For everything that was written in the past
was written to teach us, so that through
endurance and the encouragement of the
Scriptures we might have HOPE.
                           Romans 15:4  NIV 

     Our hope is in Christ, and I remain amazed that often the same Scriptures that urge us to continue on when life is interrupted with hardship and pain are the same Scriptures that give us hope for our future.
     In chapter three of Philippians, the apostle Paul talks about pressing on toward the goal—the high calling, straining toward what is ahead. Our hope is in Christ, and even though life is a journey filled with rocky places and difficult mountains, we have hope that “God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus”
     In 1 Corinthians 15:58, Paul reminded us to “stand firm, let nothing move you, always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord”. Why? “Because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
     In II Corinthians 4:18, we are reminded to “Fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”. And when a ruler of the synagogue was told that his daughter was dead, Jesus responded by telling him “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:35-36)
     Hope is a natural outcome when we see life through God’s perspective. It is joyful expectation in Jesus. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Hope! “In him (Christ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Hope!
     Because we know how the story ends, we have hope. “Behold, I (Christ) am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:12-14)

     Therefore, in the midst of turmoil, heartache, pain, and loss we can still hope—not because of any artificially produced verbiage, but because our hope is in Christ alone. So when we question the horrors of this world, we need never be hopeless because:
1.   Our hope is in Christ
2.   Our hope is not in vain
3.   Our hope remains in the midst of crisis and chaos
4.   Our hope is strengthened when we see it from God’s perspective
5.   Our hope is firm because we know how it will end
     Since true hope is found only in Christ, we must share it with the world as we too follow the instructions from the angel to the women at the tomb of our risen Lord—“Come and see…go and tell.”
     We have reason to rejoice in this life, in the midst of heartache, in the midst of chaos, in the midst of trials and in the midst of our nation’s moral decay. We have reason to hope in times of defeat in the battles of life because victory is ultimately ours in Christ Jesus. We have reason to hope in times of financial famine because provision is ours through Christ Jesus. We have reason to hope in times of great sorrow for our Savior came to wipe away all tears.
     We have reason to hope because God’s grace is sufficient for every need and every day. His grace is abundant—never just enough but always overflowing. His grace is sufficient—not just for today’s needs but tomorrow’s and the next day. His grace is a fountain of refreshing cool clear water that brings hope in time of heartache, joy in times of sadness and peace in the midst of turmoil.
     So if today you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to hold onto hope, remember—God’s grace is the source of our hope!

© Joyce Powell

1 comment:

  1. Joyce, besides giving readers an uplift, the 1-5 reasons for hope seemed to me to be wonderful writing prompts for Christian poets and writers! Thanks. I highlighted this on the Christian Poets & Writers blog -