WE NEED HOPE – – (Part 2)

Colossians 1:25-29 – “Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.”  NASB

In considering the Hope of the Bible I realize that the Christian is or should be a person of Hope!  We are the persons who can say, “I am looking forward, with great excitement and anticipation, that I will receive what God has promised and I am hoping for.”  Each day we can and should experience a little more of God’s Promises and Blessings.  We are those who can and should refuse to feed depression and despair.

The Person of Hope looks into all their tomorrows, all their unlived future and have the calm assurance that “this is the day the Lord has made.”  That person knows in their heart of hearts that, in God’s perfect timing, He is going to bring to us all His Promises!  That is Bible Hope!  That would make Bible Hope, Faith in a roundabout way.  It is Faith that is shielding its eyes against the sunlight of adversity and shouts, “I can see it!  I can see it!”

Let me illustrate it using farmers or gardeners.  They have to live and operate in Hope.  Not the hope that is of the world but the hope that is of the Bible.  Each August or September the gardener will take down their gardening Bible, their seed catalog.  It has in it some of the most amazing pictures of what the promise is.  But when you order it and it arrives it is a blub not the beautiful plant.  Then, that gardener will, with sure and certain HOPE, put that blub in the ground.  Why?  Because they believe the promise of the book.  What do they have as evidence?  The Picture or in our case the Promise. 

That gardener will Hope through the winter months.  They know that under the surface of the soil there is life where they planted that ugly blub.  That is the Hope that we have in Christ.  When I look at my life when I first came to Jesus for salvation.  I can say, “You mean that I am destined to be conformed to the Image of God’s Son?”  I take my seed catalog, the Bible, and read what God has prepared for me.  I do not look at what I see in me, but what the Bible says about the Christ that lives in me and I HOPE!

That Life in me is the Hope of Glory!  When I do that, I discover what Christianity is really all about.  It is Hope!  We live in a continual and perpetual state of excited anticipation.  No matter what adversity comes, that Life in us cannot be destroyed by external circumstances.  It is Christ in us, the Hope of Glory!  Everything He has said “IS” going to burst forth and we will be what He said we are.  That’s Hope!

I contend that Hope is seen from the first pages of the Bible.  In the Book of Acts, Paul was arrested because he said that Jesus was the Messiah.  He contended that the Promises of God in the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus.  He stood before the tribunals of man and three separate times, he referred to why he was there.  In Acts 24:15, he referred to the Hope that he had from God.  In acts 26:6, he referred to the Hope of the Promises made by God to the fathers.  Then, he said, that he was there for the Hope of Israel. 

What is he talking about?  If you go back to Genesis 3:15 you find that God made the Promise that one day, there would be the seed of the woman.  That seed would crush the head of the serpent, the devil.  That looked incredibly remote and far-fetched at that time.  Adam and Eve had just come out of the Garden of Eden, having rebelled against God.  They were sensing the pressure of sin, the darkness of separation, and the rottenness of their condition.  The reign of the devil was hovering over them.  God says, in that situation, “One day, the seed of the woman…” 

That is all they had to hold on to.  It was their gospel.  It was their Bible.  That had that one single promise and they passed it on from generation to generation.  In their horrible condition imposed upon them because of sin, they had a Ray of Hope! 

We cannot stop here but must for this devotional and pick up again next time.  May the LORD bless and keep you and be with you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

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