The week following the crucifixion of Christ was and is a week of hope and trust.
Interestingly, in the Arabic language, hope is defined as trust. Trust is defined in English as: "Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed."
Hmmm. Sounds like we are talking about God. The disciples gathered in Jerusalem secretly and in fear. They were probably still amazed at the multiple appearances of Christ. The disciples had the trust and confidence in Christ to do what he said. They waited, as instructed.
The word "hope" is used today in many different ways: “I hope it doesn’t rain.” Or “I hope the baby gets well soon.” There are countless examples using the word hope. Using the word HOPE as an acrostic, we will look at four ideas which should define our relationship with God.
Hope is relying on the strength and character of God. In life, we find that few people or entities truly are worthy of our hope and trust. People are human, and they let us down. Governments, organizations and churches are good, yet they are staffed by humans, who will eventually let you down.
There was a farmer whose mule fell in an abandoned well. Following several attempts to rescue the mule, the farmer decided to fill in the well, burying the mule alive. Neighbors came and began shoveling dirt into the well. The mule brayed a bit, and then they could hear some sounds from the well, but nothing that could be identified. The men shoveled and shoveled. Eventually, the head of the mule appeared above the well. The mule shook the dirt off his back and stepped up on the pile of dirt. Finally, he was free.
The moral of the story is this: When you’re down, look up, shake off the dirt and step up. This is easier said than done, yet much of life is simple. God is strength and character. Throughout the Bible, God reveals his character, and it doesn’t change. God doesn’t have mood swings. He has identifiable standards, which don’t change. God has pity and sympathy on humans, and sees us as helpless and needy. God waits for you and me to express our need for his help, and reach out to him for help. Hope is relying on God, looking up – literally and figuratively – several times each day for God to share his strength with us.
Only rely on God. Several hymns of faith extol the worth of God for our total faith and loyalty. The title of one such hymn is "Only Trust Him."
I find that I hesitate to put my total trust in only one thing. Last winter, when an ice storm was approaching, generator sales spiked sharply in our area. Stores sold out, orders were placed and money was paid in advance by many to ensure that they had a backup generator. While we trusted the power company, we didn’t totally trust them to withstand the force of nature and keep the power on. We wanted a backup plan. God tells you and me that we don’t need a backup plan. Our faith in Christ is the plan for eternal life and daily living.
I frequently hear people say that we all are working for the same thing. But the Bible teaches we cannot do enough good deeds, give enough money or go to church enough to earn God’s favor. God offers the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus, crucified on the cross and resurrected from the grave. Trust and faith in God only is the way to a peaceful, fulfilled life on earth and an eternal life in heaven. Christ alone is the savior of people who place their faith and trust in him.
Positive outcomes are brought to you by God. Toby Keith recorded a song in which a phrase says: ”brought to you, courtesy of the red, white and blue.” The patriotic song depicts a deep love of country and loyalty to serve our country. In life, we can say we are lucky, blessed or have good karma. I believe that positive outcomes in life are brought to you and me by God. I have had my share of ups and downs in life. Yet, I see God’s faithful hand in my life. And by keeping my faith only in God, he has provided positive outcomes. He guides me and leads me daily. I find in life that I must place my faith and trust in God for the best outcome. In many cases, God seems to change my view of life rather than the circumstances of life. God is a God of today and tomorrow. He wants us to have the belief that the positive today and tomorrow will come to us, courtesy of God.
Every day, Jesus can be trusted. Jesus is an every day God. He desires a daily relationship with you and me. Scripture points to the obvious fact that Jesus came to give us eternal life in heaven through our faith in him. Scripture also points to the fact that Jesus came to give us abundant life here on earth. The Bible uses titles for Jesus that include shepherd, counselor, savior and guide, to name a few. The desire of Jesus is to be your everyday companion, leader and friend.
Let’s face the fact that each of us needs a divine guide every day. Daniel Boone once said: "I have never been lost, but I was once bewildered for three days.” Perhaps you are feeling a bit bewildered by life; if so, trust Jesus, only Jesus. Jesus doesn’t want to be your co-pilot; he wants to be your pilot. Jesus desires to be your every day and eternal savior; he wants you to place your faith and trust in him.
Hope and trust seem to be essential to the human spirit.
I believe that you and I must place our faith and trust in God, who has the strength and ability to provide us with a heavenly home and leadership every day of our lives on earth.
Have you taken a step of faith to trust God through Jesus? If not, give me a call and we can talk about it.