Looking With Hope
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Hebrews 12 (NKJV)
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Looking with hope?
That seems like an impossibility in the world we live in. There is so much violence, sadness and loss in our world. Constant turmoil boils around us, the television and newspapers declaring hopelessness in every corner of the world. It would seem there is no place of hope or peace left on the planet.
Yet, the Bible has a lot to say about hope. There is a place of hope to be found. We have to look for it as a treasure. We can have both hope and peace in Him. Jesus Himself was able to find that place of hope by seeing into the future with joyful hope. He saw an end to sin and death if He would go to the cross and take our place. In Hebrews 12, it says “endured” the cross because He had a hope at the end of it. He saw a world of men and women all freed from sin and spending eternity with the Godhead in Heaven.
By following His example, we can “lay aside” those things that are a constant worry. Choosing instead to trust Him over worrisome things and receive His peace during troubled days. He also offers us courage and strength to go through life, with all its evil companions allowing our hope to be our guide till the end.
Our prayer this year is for us all to reach into that place of hope and allow it to produce our faith in times of sorrow, sadness, loss and struggle. When we learn how to lean on Jesus and give Him access to our heart, we can learn to walk free of the worry and anxiety that life shoves in our face. Will there be temptations to fear, worry and fret? Yes, of course, we just have to stop letting them be the focus and instead keep our eyes on Jesus, our fearless Leader.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.
Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
19 To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.