I Was Just Thinking About – MISDIRECTED HOPE.
Life is filled with choices upon which decisions are made in an arbitrary way. In hindsight, the choice that was made is regretted and the alternative is no longer available or viable. We can attempt to be independent as we do the things we have greatest interest by ourselves and in our own way, or we can realize that being an island unto myself is not the wisest or best alternative. Wisdom would dictate that we must have trust and confidence as we depend on someone or something.
In Romans 4:1-2 (ESV), there is an important statement made in regard to Abraham and his hope in someone or something other than oneself. The verses state: “What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” God is indicating to Abraham that he and his wife Sarah, even though they are advanced in years, would have an heir. Based upon his faith in the God Who never breaks a promise, we read in Romans 4:18, “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told: So shall your offspring be.” The summary of how he arrived at this place of absolute hope is shared in Romans 4:20-21 (NLT), “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”
The two dynamic phrases in these verses should be an encouragement for each of us, namely, “He never wavered in believing God’s promise” and he was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.” Is this the foundation on which your spiritual life rests? Is this the confidence and hope that motivates you as a follower of Jesus Christ? Have you totally embraced and implemented these things as a reality in and for your life? I Peter 1:3, 13 (NIV) shares this reality: “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.”
Misdirected Hope can look to man rather than God. One can look to a Medical Doctor rather than The Great Physician. One can become dependent on Government Welfare Agencies for provisions rather than on the God Who promised to supply for all one’s needs. One can look to the Secular Society for “Identity” or “Acceptance” rather than to Jesus Christ who instructed (John 15) “Abide in Me” and (John 13:34-35) “by this shall all people know you are My disciples if you have love for one another.” In what and in Whom is your hope and confidence?
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.