Hope Springs Eternal

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Today’s Bible Reading: Hebrews 6

Hebrews 6:18-19a (TLB)
18 He has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that he will give them the salvation he has promised them. 19 This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls (emphasis added).

In today’s reading, God has given us both his promise and his oath for our future salvation. We find confidence in this hope for several reasons: God’s promises have never failed anyone who trusts in them, God’s purpose is unchangeable, God is incapable of lying, and God’s oath backs up his promise.

In a sermon, Pastor Rick Warren identified three kinds of hope. One is wishful hope. This kind of hope is basically wishful thinking that something you desire will come true. This hope has no real basis in reality. For example, I hope I can stay on a diet and resist all the yummy temptations. The second is expectant hope. This kind of hope has some basis but may or may not come true. For example, I hope the Cincinnati Reds will win the World Series this year. The third is certain hope. This hope is based on God’s promises in his Word, not my wishes. It is based on the truth that God cannot lie. Certain hope is strong (solid, stable), trustworthy (reliable, bet your life on), and an anchor for your soul.

I find it interesting that the author of Hebrews uses the metaphor of an anchor. Usually, an anchor is a large metal object hooked to a boat by a chain that is dropped into the water to keep the boat from drifting either when out at sea or in a safe harbor. In this instance, the anchor is not being dropped into water, but instead goes up into heaven, where Jesus has gone before us. The certain hope we have in Christ is the anchor that keeps our souls from drifting. We all need an anchor—Jesus—both during the storms of life as well as in calm times.

1 Peter 3:15-16a
15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way.

On March 13, 2019, the CedarCreek community lost a great humanitarian in a freak accident. He was the leader of my Group, and his life exemplified this verse. I am thankful for the difference he made in my life and the opportunity I had to witness him live out his faith by honoring God. Peter reminds us that as Christians, we are commanded to honor the Lord. This verse resonates with me, as I believe that I am obligated to model my actions, not just my words, in a way that honors Christ so unbelievers will ask why I have certain hope. I have a living hope, a hope of a glorious life to come—ask me about it!

Romans 15:13
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

What a powerful prayer Paul has written. What a great promise! The promises of God come to us today through our faith, just as they did to Abraham and many others in the Bible. The Word is filled with a multitude of events that demonstrate God’s faithfulness. When we believe God, we feel certain hope.

What gives you the most hope? Why? Are you filled with hope because of God’s promise in Christ? If not, why? Would your family say that you abound in hope? If not, why not?

Next Steps:
Memorize some of God’s promises that will bring you hope. Then, make a point to do some mindful meditation on what you’ve memorized. Stop focusing on your problems and start focusing on God’s promises. Journal some of the promises that can bridge the gap between your hopelessness and hope.

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for all your promises. Thank you for being the giver of hope. Help me to look to Christ first for hope. Give me discernment between hopelessness and hope. Thank you for sending your Son to this world. Thank you for all my blessings and my trials, which produce hope when I trust in you. In your Son’s name, amen.

This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She is enjoying retirement and feels blessed to be writing for LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.

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