Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hope

I've touched on the topic of hope briefly in some posts lately. I did so because I see a direct correlation between New Years and hope. Looking to the future, wanting things better and brighter - hope. Truth is, hope that is lasting and real can only be found in Jesus.
Life is difficult and I'm not going to paint some bed of roses picture that just because someone follows Jesus, everything will get easy and better. Incorrect. Things get tougher following Jesus. Tougher but better.
He is the hope for all people.
I've always found music to be comforting when things get tough and hope is harder to hold onto. For that reason I'm gonna proceed with a couple songs that seem to hit on the hope of Jesus pretty well.



So there's a couple songs that I think hit the fact of Jesus being the hope for life but more important then music or people, what does the Bible say of hoping in Jesus?

Psalm 147
"He Heals the Brokenhearted"
Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. 
The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. 
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. 
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 
The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. 
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! 
He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. 
He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. 
His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, 
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. 
Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! 
For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. 
He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat. 
He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 
He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. 
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? 
He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the LORD!

He takes care of us. I would say that that is a great source of hope and comfort. 
There are an obnoxious number of things that can make us sad, angry, scared. It's hard to trust in Him when those things are in play. Whether it be sickness or loss of employment or just from watching the news, to name a few things, hope (and trust by extension) are under regular attack. But just as those attacks are not static, so hoping must not be either. It has to be active. Acted upon. Doubt and fear oppose hope and trust. 
So when the tough things of life happen (and they will - sometimes in heaps) choose hope. Instead of fear and stress, anger, grief, or sadness, choose hope.
Choose Jesus.
Things get tough, then things get better and on and on. It's depressing and tough but Jesus is steady. He embodies hope. If only we would actively choose to trust Him through all the times of life.

1/30 addendum
So after thinking about this for another 40 hours or so I think I missed some key points. The hope found in Jesus is eternal hope, that those who follow Him will be with Him for eternity. I can't quantify the significance of that but did not intend to focus on that here.
What I was going for was to highlight that in this life there is always a reason for hope. It grows up and out of Jesus as well because He always takes care of us. Nothing can change that. It will not always be easy though, just as taking care of each other isn't always about things being easy, but it is unshakeable.
I sincerely don't know how people make it through a day, much less 80+ years without Jesus. Without the hope and assurance that He provides. Maybe that's why substance abuse is such a big deal and why violence is so rampant, though I would put some blame on technology for that as well. Religions based on works factor in as well I suppose, but it still doesn't compute with me. When I look at everything bad and broken in this world only negative things come to mind. I have to fall on Jesus in those times, knowing that He is in control.
That a small thing like loss of employment or disease, of much greater negative effect, do not supersede Him. He does take care of us. All of us, whether a follower or a blasphemer, are taken care of by the Almighty. I could keep expounding on that but I think I will leave it as the general statement. For those who follow Him, don't worry it is all for His glory and our benefit - however hard it may be see the good in things that happen.
The end....I think