Tuesday, January 29, 2013
This past week, we began a 2-part series, "8 Reasons to Leave Your Umbrella at Home" (tied in to the Travelers Insurance Commercial with Chopper the dog worried about all the troubles of life that might cause him to lose his bone). This short series addresses why we as Christ-followers can experience HOPE even in the midst of pain, suffering, confusion, heart-ache, grief and loss in this broken world. But before we can talk about WHY we can experience HOPE or HOW we can experience HOPE, we need to understand a bit about WHAT HOPE IS. Through my study of 1 Peter 1:3-12 and other Scriptures, here are some definitions I've put together: •--Hope is a disposition of the heart that experiences the joy of a buoyant faith toward both the present and the future based on the Person, Promises and Pledge of God. Hope is the attitude of the soul resulting from believing that God’s heart toward you in Christ is good and that He is always working good. Hope is the glad expectation of certain good, even in spite of, and especially in light of, all evidences to the contrary. •--Hope anchors the soul to Christ resulting in peace and joy, no matter the currents below the surface or the storms above the surface. Hope sees good when it is not seen and acknowledges redemption is moving forward "behind the veil." •--Hope is the “Power of Positive Faithing” applied to your tomorrows. Philippians 4:8 applied to the next 5 minutes as well as the next 5 weeks, months, years, decades…”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” •--Hope is a favorable assessment of the future based on the Person, Promises and Pledge of God, recognizing that circumstances may not change, and may indeed worsen, but at the same time recognizing that “Aslan on the move!” This hope is BOTH a divine gift of grace AND a human responsibility.