I love directions. They make things so simple…or at least they should. A tried and trusted step-by-step direction manual that will eliminate mistakes, save time, increase joy and efficiency, and really help impatient people like myself. Whether it’s a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, or an instructional manual for a piece of furniture, or a turn-by-turn guide to get to a specific location, I bask in the security that directions provide. Except when they don’t.
I can struggle with resilience, patience, and perspective when things don’t go as they should when it comes to directions. When a screw is missing, or a road number is wrong, or if this part doesn’t fit into that part, I can grow quite impatient and be tempted to give up. Now, that is not to say I am not resilient in or for other things, but when something simple is not so simple, my impatience can rise up and make me frustrated. Can you relate?
This week, we will be continuing our series in the Minor Prophets and we come to a book that showcases a lot of patience. And the patience is coming from one source: God. For many of you, you are familiar with the story of Jonah: they disobedience prophet who ran from God’s call, was swallowed by a fish, finally decided to obey God, and preached repentance to the city of Nineveh. And while those are some of the essentials of the story, it is amazing to see the movement of God’s patience throughout this account.
First off, God is patient with the people of Nineveh. They have rebelled against Him and disobeyed Him repeatedly for generations and yet He did not give up on them. He still wanted them to repent and turn to Him. He cared about them enough to send Jonah to warn them of the end result of their sin. He put up with them even amidst their atrocities when He so easily could have just wiped them off the face of the Earth or said, “Sorry, you had your chance.”
God is also patient with Jonah. Even in his anger, disobedience, rebellion, and poor attitude, God still cares about Jonah. He saves him from drowning by sending a fish, He rescues him from the hot sun by providing a plant for shade, and He doesn’t quite on Jonah even though Jonah had all but quit on Him. Who else would do that?! How many of us would have just said, “Well, have it your way, Jonah. I’m going to go choose someone else.” Or, “Ok, Jonah. You want to play hardball. Let me just take out my frustration on you to teach you a lesson on how you should respond next time.”
But that is not what we see. Rather, we see God’s immense patience, resilience, and grace shown to sinful people and sinful prophets. And that Good News travels down the line to us today. I am so thankful that God does not give up on me when I disobey Him. I am so glad that He is patient with me in my impatience. I am so humbled that He continuously puts up with me and my messiness. Can you relate?
We all share in being blown away time and again by God’s patience to us and His call to extend and share that patience with those around us. May we be reminded of how God’s patience shows up in our lives and may that give us reassurance and thankfulness for His grace to us. It is in the power of that grace that the Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
It can be hard to hear a tough word from someone close to us. It can be humbling to be rebuked for a poor decision, a selfish motive, or a crummy attitude. It can be difficult to be faced with the reality that we let them down, that we caused hurt or pain to others, that we acted in a way that was out of line.
Being corrected and having to face your mistakes are not something that we welcome readily as human beings. We like to think we are next to perfect, we like to think that our motives are pure, that our reasoning is sound, and that our way is best. But each of us need to be confronted with our blind spots at times, each of us need to be redirected to see our shortcomings, each of us need to be restored to the main thing time and time again.
Who are those people in your life that give you that needed feedback, that correction that we don’t ask for or want, but really need? Maybe it’s a parent, sibling, or family member? Maybe it’s a spouse? A close friend? I have had needed encounters with each of these people that have brought this rebuke or correction into my life at a time where I was stubborn, selfish, or had a sour attitude. I probably didn’t welcome it all that much at the time, but looking back, I am thankful for the boldness, courage, care, and love that each of them showed me to bring me to a reality of my wrong and show me the truth of my actions.
Now, as hard as it may be to hear a rebuke or tough word from a close friend or loved one, imagine if that rebuke came directly from the top…from God Himself?! As we continue in our series through the Minor Prophets, we come to the book of Amos. The book of Amos is filled with tough words of correction and rebuke from God to the wayward hearts of His people.
The nations of Israel and Judah were both experiencing prosperity and expansion under their kings. They were living comfortably, they thought things were going well, but it was the exact opposite. They had turned their hearts to other gods and alliances with other nations and were not relying on God for His provision, direction, and strength. The prosperity that some of them experienced came at the expense of others as they had disenfranchised and taken advantage of the poor and needy. They did not advocate for their own people, they had shut out and oppressed those without a voice, they had become power-hungry and drunk with a misguided sense of authority.
It was in this reality of injustice, oppression, self-centeredness, and sin that God spoke through His prophet Amos. Amos pleaded with the people to return and repent instead of continuing in their stubborn, wayward ways that would only lead to destruction. God would not put up with their sin and their abuses and their rebellion any longer and it was time to answer for what they had done. We see the hardened and clouded hearts that many of these people operated with that led them away from a close relationship with God and it is in the story of Amos that we see ourselves as well. We hear the rebuke from God in our hearts and lives too and we see our need to return to Him because of our sin.
As hard of a read as the book of Amos can be, there is hope. In Amos 9, God promises to repair, to raise up, to rebuild, and restore His people in ways unimaginable that will bring them back to Him. He ultimately does this through the sending and giving of His Son so that the sins of all people would be obliterated, and we can approach God to receive His mercy and grace that He longs to give to each of us, no matter what our mistakes. This is a just, loving, holy, and merciful God that calls to you and me today to turn from our sin and return to Him. It’s a call that was heard through Amos thousands of years ago and it’s the same call to repentance given to us today.
What is it that makes something valuable? What a discussion that could be! Something’s value could come from a variety of sources and reasons, but value is usually assigned. It’s given by someone or something else, compared with something or someone else. Certain boxes have to be checked, specific criteria met. Status, circumstance, appeal, and appearance all play into how much something is worth.
Assigning or holding value can be an interesting business and things that are of value tend to become treasured possessions that are desirable, important, and life-changing. Consider the story of Chris Rothe, who was a sports card collector that works as a third-generation bookbinder in Maryland. Just last week, he paid $500 for a random spot in a drawing for an unopened 20-card pack of baseball cards from 1955. His draw was card number 19.
There are several baseball cards from the 1955 Bowman set that many collectors dream of seeing when they open up a pack, but there is one in particular that stands out and it happened to be the 19th card that came out of the pack. A 1955 Mickey Mantle baseball card, worth tens of thousands of dollars to the highest bidder. This card was in pristine condition, rated a 9 out of 10 on the Professional Sports Authenticator and it was all Rothe’s. He has already heard from a fellow collector who will pay him $50,000 for the card.
Talk about a day-altering moment! Who would have thought that a small piece of cardboard with a picture of somebody along with some printed words would be worth so much money or be desired by so many? But that was the value assigned to this particular baseball card. This is a value that has been set, agreed upon, and upheld by those in the sports card world and Rothe just hit the jackpot.
Each of us could think of numerous things in our lives that are valuable to us for monetary or memorable reasons, but our discussion this week is not going to be about famous baseball cards, fine china, or rare coins. Rather, our discussion will focus on the immense value that God places on us as humans and how He calls us to see this value not only in ourselves, but in others too.
Scripture tells each of us that we are God’s most prized creation, His treasured possession, and the object of His love and attention. As wonderful a truth as that is, that can sometimes be hard to believe. How could God think of messy old me in that way? How much value could I really hold to God? And it can be just as difficult and challenging to share and show that value to those around us. Just like our culture inputs value on certain things, there can also be value that is assigned to one another. Things like wealth, status, job, race, gender, and age all play into this value and we can be tempted to see a worldly value rather than the value given to all by God. When we see others through God’s eyes, through His vantage point, those outside factors fade away.
Each of us are invited to truly see ourselves as a beloved child of God, but to also extend that viewpoint to those around us. This starts with our brothers and sisters in Christ here at Oak Hill but extends beyond these walls to the world around us that we live in and interact with each day.
It can be really fun to serve other people. It is also a treat to watch others serve too. Think of those people in your life that come to mind when you hear the word “servant.” They always seem to be going above and beyond to give of their time and resources for someone else’s benefit. They never seem inconvenienced or act as though they have something better to do or would rather be somewhere else, they simply serve. Serving others is a beautiful picture.
Aside from watching others serve around us, I would venture that many of you can think of several experiences in your life that involved you serving for the good and advancement of others. This probably came at some expense to yourself, but you probably found it pretty rewarding and fulfilling. For all of the work, energy, time, and effort put into serving, there is an intended blessing of joy and fulfillment that we receive when it takes place. God designed it to be that way. He has given us this gift to tap into and experience when we put others first and reach out to help them. It is such a joy and blessing for me to watch many of you serve in various ways at Oak Hill in so many different capacities. Seeing how you are using God’s gifts in your life to serve others and to serve His Church brings a big smile to my face.
This might seem obvious, but one of the secrets to serving is that anyone can do it. There are no pre-requisites or ability level or age requirements. Every person can fully invest themselves in a life of serving one another in love and reaping the benefits of that service. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way: “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
While we would tend to agree with these points, these statements are made because the reality is that we can struggle with serving. An obvious reason for this would be that we are naturally selfish people who are conditioned to first look out for ourselves and to make sure that we have our own ducks in a row before looking out for another’s well-being. But one of the traps that befall us when it comes to serving others is fear. Fear that we don’t measure up, fear that we don’t have the skills or abilities to do a good job, fear and insecurity that we will mess up, fear that we are inadequate, fear of what others might think, fear that we are ill-equipped. We would just as rather watch another serve than take part in service ourselves. This is a fear that can make us timid and hesitant, unsteady and unsure.
But God’s gifts to us go further than we can even imagine. He does not leave us to falter in our inadequacies and hesitancy. He still calls and invites us to serve Him and one of the ways that we do that is by serving others. God promises to equip us, go with us, help us, and encourage us as we give to those around us out of who we are and what we have. The Apostle Paul wrote two letters to a very timid, hesitant, and fearful pastor named Timothy and in the first chapter of his second letter to Timothy, Paul gives him this reminder and this reality: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” This Spirit is the one who fills in the gaps, who give us boldness and confidence, who provides us with the tools we need to give out of a heart of love to share a Greater Love with those around us. Serving is a true joy! It is life-giving. It is infectious. It is the heart of our Savior.
I’m sure there are many of you who have had this unfortunate circumstance happen to you at one time or another. You are talking on your cell phone with a close friend, using FaceTime or Skype to catch up with a family member, surfing the Internet for a tasty recipe or research for a school paper, and then it happens. At the most inopportune and inconvenient time, you see the words, “Connection Lost” and the screen goes blank. Now, your train of thought is interrupted, the story you were telling cut short, the previous work you did to get to your current point has almost been for naught. This lost connection can leave you frustrated, confused, and even a bit angry with the technology responsible for this snafu.
Losing connection is never good, especially when the connection is lost between two things that really go together. Both on their own might be fine and decent, but the true joy and treasure is found when the two are brought together (think peanut butter and jelly, ketchup and mustard, potato chips and chocolate as some examples.)
Here at Oak Hill Church, our Vision Statement is “Connecting Lives in Grace and Truth.” Hopefully, you have heard this phrase spoken often or seen it displayed regularly…take a look at our sign if you need. This statement holds a powerful key to how we see ourselves and how we identify with each other and those around us. We are to connect with one another in ways that mirror the transforming and enlightening work of God’s grace and truth in our lives as a congregation and then take that grace and truth out to our family, friends, co-workers, classmates, and people we run into wherever we go. We are a walking billboard for the Ultimate Connection that we each have with our Savior and our desire should be to share that hope with the people in our lives.
So far this summer, we have been unpacking the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Galatian church. We are looking at what it means to live in the middle of two worlds, as one who has been and continues to be rescued and restored by Christ. What does it mean and look like to live as a follower of Jesus Christ in a world that has always been hostile to His message and His ways? It is in the book of Galatians where Paul reminds the Galatians, and us today, that because we have been rescued by Christ, we are to bring His rescue to those around us that need it. Because we have been restored by Christ, we are to bring that restoration to others in our lives too. There is a direct connection between the two. While both on their own are encouraging and beneficial, the real treat comes when they are joined together as one force.
In the coming weeks, we will be looking at some practical ways to bring this rescue and restoration to our day-to-day lives as we encounter and connect with a variety of individuals who need the love, grace, and truth of Jesus Christ to be real in their own lives. We are going to be specifically looking at doing this through our Congregational Values. We are going to see how we can help in restoring God’s Truth through how we relate to other “truths” that are out there and respond when that Truth is compromised. We will also look at how we can help in restoring Relationships in how we interact with others and our community. We will see how our world’s definition of power and authority clash with how Jesus calls us to operate as Servant Leaders. Finally, we will see how we can restore evangelism; the actual Going of the Gospel that teaches and reminds us all of our need for a Savior.
It should be a fun and engaging time as we each seek to see how the rescue and restoration that we have been given is meant not just for us to experience, but also for our neighbor both near and far.
How would you describe your family? What words or phrases would you use to define those individuals that make up your family unit? Some of you might use words such as “loving,” “reliable,” “loyal,” “caring,” “close,” or “encouraging.” Others of you might choose words like “broken,” “dysfunctional,” “complex,” “untrustworthy,” “fractured,” or “hurting.” That’s the reality of family. One’s experiences may seem like an ocean away from what someone else might be taking in when it comes to how they view their family. Families are complex, families go through seasons of conflict or disjointedness, families are not perfect…even the most uplifting ones.
I am very thankful that I was able to experience a family where my parents loved each other and loved their kids and sought to bring them up in a loving knowledge of the Lord. There were definitely times where I took what I had and have for granted. I would also be the first to admit that, even though my family was wonderful, and encouraging, and fun, we were not perfect. My parents had their moments of disagreement, my siblings and I would not always “play nice” together, there were times when we didn’t always see eye-to-eye with one another, there were times where our differences even amidst our unity rose to the forefront.
But no matter what your family background or upbringing was or is like, the beautiful reality is that God always goes above and beyond our experiences. When it comes to His family, that’s where the comparisons stop dead in their tracks. The reality of God’s family meets each of us in our own situations and reminds us again of who we are and Whose we are. God has stepped in and claimed you and I as His…as His children. He invites you and I into His family and it has nothing to do with what we bring to the table or can offer Him. He does it out of a radical love and a scandalous mercy that defies understanding. While you may be a part of a family here on this Earth, God has adopted you into His family and that is to shape how you live, view, and interact with those around you.
God’s way of showing up and revealing Himself and His gifts in our lives always come in spite of our attitudes, viewpoints, and circumstances. He fills in the gaps of what we need and promises that being a member of His family will never disappoint. In God’s family, He is our Protector, our Provider, our Father who loves nothing more than for His children to know that He loves them.
Being a member of God’s family brings unity, encouragement, shaping, and equipping that builds the Body of Christ up in a way that uplifts each of the other members, but also seeks to be a blessing to those not yet in that family. As the Church, we have a distinct and unique calling and opportunity as children of God: to love, serve, and encourage one another and to share those gifts to those we meet and know that need to feel the bond of true family that can only be found in Christ.
Living in the Middle of Rescue and Restoration
Ah, summer. It’s right around the corner. And as I am sitting here writing this, the temperature is climbing outside. It’s amazing how our bodies grow so accustomed to the winter chill that a mere 75-degree day feels unbearably hot. But this is what many people appreciate about the summer months: a break from the snow, ice, and cold, warm, sunny days, planting gardens, taking vacations, no school, and chances to go swimming and have new adventures outdoors. Summer is seen as a time to take it a bit easier, to rest, relax, and rejuvenate amidst all the opportunity that summer has to offer.
When many think of Summer R&R, they tend to think of “Rest” and “Relaxation.” But here, at Oak Hill this summer, we will be looking at some different “R” words that are going to set the framework for our summer preaching series together: “Rescue” and “Restoration.” We are going to be going through Paul’s Epistle to the Church in Galatia and we are going to be given some wonderful reminders about what God’s Word has to say about our lives that we live day in and day out.
We are going to see that He has rescued us; rescued us from sin, death, and the power of evil and has redeemed us and set us free. In Galatians 1:3-4, Paul writes: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” He has restored a right relationship and standing on our behalf so that we can be called and live as His children in this world He has placed us in. The beautiful part is that both of those things go together. He has rescued us and restored us, and He now calls us to be His hands, feet, and witnesses in helping rescue and restore the lives of those around us who need this hope in their lives too. Paul gives us this reminder in Galatians 6:1 when he says: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
So, how does one do this? How does one live as a believer who has been rescued from this present evil age and yet is called to restore others gently? This is an age-old question that we will seek to take a deeper look at together this summer. As believers, we live as citizens of two worlds: God’s Kingdom and this world in which we currently reside. We are truly in the middle. We are members of God’s family and await our future place in heaven with Him, but we are also currently living as citizens of this globe with all of its standards and regulations. God calls us, as His children, to know where we stand in His sight: as holy, righteous, and forgiven through what His Son did for us on the cross. He also calls us to be active in this world with the time we have and the people we rub shoulders with to bring His restoration into their lives. We do this by standing on His Ultimate Truth, showing and sharing real relationships and community, leading by way of serving, and proclaiming God’s love to each person in a way that opens their eyes to the One in us.
I am looking forward to a great summer as we learn and grow together in our understanding of how God calls us to live in this time and space that He has given to us.
“What you believe drives everything.” Do you remember those words? Those words were a part of our first Sunday together back in September of this past year as we began this Believe series together. Belief is a powerful assertion and can captivate one’s own understanding of reality and what is true in incredible ways. Consider the example of how many ancient cultures viewed the shape of our Earth. For many generations, ancient peoples understood the Earth to be flat. The thought was that if one ventured too far and reached the edge of the Earth, one would fall off into an abyss never to be seen again. This would make a strong case for one to be a homebody for one’s own safety. It took many years of exploration and understanding to come to the realization that this was just not the case. Imagine what that did to those who had previously misunderstood the reality of our planet! Imagine the newfound freedom, understanding, and purpose that they experienced in knowing that this new view would and could change everything!
This life, much like this physical world, is so much more than we can imagine or expect at times. A bigger picture of this is in God’s Word. The truths, promises, and message communicated in the pages of Scripture continue to expound on everything that we think possible and rational. Found within it’s pages is a God who lovingly pursues His people to rescue them from their own sin and give them the gift of new life, new understanding, and new vision by which to live by. We have encountered this God this year as we have looked at the nature of who He is, who we are, and how He invites each of us to live as His representatives in the world.
What a journey it has been as we have been reminded of the essentials of what we believe as children of God. God’s Word has showed us the reality of who He is as a Personal God, as the Author of Life, as the Giver of Identity and Purpose, and as the Head of the Church. It has given us new opportunities to look at our own lives in how we live out of the faith given to us through Christ in ways like prayer, using our God-given gifts, time, and resources, as well as sharing our faith with those around us. And we have spent the past several months looking at the Fruit of the Spirit, which God grows and renews and refines in us daily as we grow closer to Him and His Will. Not only does he promise to help us and walk with us in this renewing process, but He gives us the chance to do that with each other as we share life together.
So, the truth of the matter is this: “What you believe still drives everything.” What you believe about God, His Word, the people around you, the Church, and yourself define and create a reality and perception in your daily life that holds immense power and influence. May our prayer be that we are a people and a community that is constantly being shaped by the Word of our Savior as we are renewed to become more and more like Him each and every day. The Apostle Paul puts it this way in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 when he says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” May you live, move, and believe in the freedom found in the working of this Spirit.
When I think of the word “faithfulness,” I tend to picture it in terms of extreme devotion, a consistent loyalty through thick and thin, something or someone that is true and constant, never-failing. They are always there, they always come through, and they are steadfast to the end. Sounds like quite the impressive list of characteristics and qualities.
When I think of faithfulness, an example that I considered were those of some very famous, loyal pets. Hopefully many of you can remember the endearing stories of Lassie, Old Yeller, and the coonhounds from Where the Red Fern Grows. These stories touch our hearts as we get an incredible glimpse of faithfulness and loyalty through the lives of some members of the canine family. If you recall each of these stories, Google them if you need a refresher, all of these dogs come to the aide of their human owners in some magnificent and daring ways. Lassie is constantly putting her life in danger for the safety of those around her, Old Yeller saves his owner, Travis, from a group of wild hogs, and the two coonhounds from Where the Red Fern Grows defend their owner from a mountain lion at the risk of their own lives.
It is amazing to consider the faithfulness and loyalty that are shown in stories like this and then consider what our thoughts would be about the character and loyalty of these animals if they had abandoned instead of assisted, if they had run instead of rescued, if they had quit instead? That would shake one’s resolve; there would be distrust, hurt, and deception. The very one whom you thought you could count on, that could come through for you, that would never leave your side does the unthinkable.
In these cases, the loyalty and faithfulness that are shown by these canine characters is to a pretty full degree, but it is then that the question comes to you and me. When it comes to faithfulness and loyalty, how faithful and loyal are you and I to those around us? Our friends, family, and loved ones, our fellow human beings, or the callings placed on our life? The easy and quick answer that I, and many of you might give, would be, “Why, yes. I would consider myself to be a pretty loyal and faithful person.” But as the layers are peeled back, where are the areas and places in our lives where faithfulness and loyalty fall short, take a back seat, are put on a lower pedestal as we serve and look out for ourselves first?
It can be a hard answer and reality to see at times. Am I always there when I need to be? Do I always come through like I should? Do I always say, react, think, and live in the way that I ought? Do you? The answer, unfortunately, is “No.” We don’t always follow through on what we say, we don’t always see through what we intend, we aren’t always there when or as we are needed. But that opens the door to see the immense loyalty and faithfulness that is shown to us by Christ.
We have only really touched on our human-to-human interactions and failings when it comes to faithfulness and this does not even scratch the surface of the times we have been unfaithful to God. But it is in that void of unfaithfulness that we see, experience, and receive His never-ending faithfulness. Since the beginning of time, what God says, He will do, what He intends, comes to be, what He promises, He fulfills. We serve a God who is faithful to us even when we are unfaithful, whose words are His actions, who fights for us on our behalf, who loves and stands by us through thick and thin, who promises to never leave us or forsake us, who comes to our aide and provides a safe way, who buys and redeems us back when we go off on our own.
That’s a God to be devoted to, that’s a God to love and be in fellowship with, that is a faithfulness to be thankful for. And somehow, undeservedly, that faithfulness is for you and it’s for me. Because of God’s faithfulness to us, He calls us to extend that loyalty and faithfulness to those around us. This is only possible because of the extent that He has given it to us and to the extent that we grasp the magnitude of the loyalty that He has first shown to us.
Basking in His unlimited faithfulness,
It is quite amazing to me to consider how much of our human existence is based upon hope and, with hope, comes expectation. I have come to hope for things to happen or occur, or I have placed my hope in something or someone, to the point that I expect certain things to take place. For example, even though as I write this there is still a lot of snow on the ground, time and experience has shown me that I can hope for spring. I can hope for the changing of the seasons for the new beginnings that spring ushers in. I can also place my hope in some things that other people cannot, and I can almost take them for granted. I can place my hope in the expectation that I know when my next meal is going to take place, that a light will turn on when I flip the switch, that I will wake up the next morning and start a new, full day. Hope coupled with expectation is a powerful thing and both time and experience reinforce those things we can hope for and expect without a hesitation or a doubt.
When it comes to hope, it tends to come quite naturally to us as human beings and maybe a little too easily. We can always pinpoint situations in our life where we have felt hopeless, but how much of that first stems from a false sense of hope? I think this is where you and I can have a real issue with hope. As you look at your life, what is it that you place your hope in? Many people place their hope in their job, their reputation, their bank account, their retirement plan, their house, and their possessions, just to name a few. But it doesn’t just stop at things. For some, it is placing their hope in other people like family, friends, spouse, or children. While each of these examples in and of themselves can be very good and uplifting things, they all have the potential to let us down and fall short of everything we may have hoped for in them. That can be a hard reality to face and it can lead to some devastating hurt and disappointment when we place an unfair amount of hope on those things and people that we hold close.
Thankfully, we serve a God who has given us a sure foundation to place our hope. While we have a myriad of other options to place our hope in, only one has been proven to stand time and time again. Everything and everyone else just simply falls short of the guarantee that this Hope offers. King David writes in Psalm 20 about this very truth when he says,
“6 Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his
heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots
and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 8 They are brought
to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.”
Chariots and horses, while impressive and formidable, don’t hold a candle to the trustworthiness that we can have in Christ. A nice paycheck and a great group of friends cannot compare to the assurance we can have through placing our hope in God. I need that lesson and that reminder shown to me again and again. I am thankful that I serve a God who is faithful to who He is and what He says and that I can count on Him for all of my days in both times of hopelessness and when times are good.
Pastor Ben Bigaouette