Monday, April 6, 2009

The Object of Our Hope

Every man hopes in something. Even atheists have an object of hope, their hope being that they are right and there is no God. One cannot go through life without having an object of hope. The only question that remains is what is it that we hope in? Now hope is defined as looking forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. The problem however arises, when we place our hope in the wrong things, and the object of our hope fails to produce that which we desired with reasonable confidence. Countless souls today place their hopes in things that will inevitably fail them. Few things in life are as painful as misplaced hopes, yet men continue to repeat the mistakes of their forefathers, and place their hope in the wrong things.
Every man chooses the object of his hope, and every man without question will suffer the consequence of their choice, or the reward thereof. There are crossroads in the lives of every man, perhaps more than we would like to admit, wherein we are confronted with choices. Today I would like to highlight four of these crossroads and search our hearts as to what the object of our hope is, or would be in these situations.
The first is whether we choose to hope in God or in man. The reason this first question is so important is that it sets the precedent for all the other choices we make. If we choose wrong on this first bifurcation in our lives, the subsequent choices, absent of divine intervention, will inevitably be the wrong choices as well.
Psalm 33:16-19, “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.”
We readily dismiss the warning of Jeremiah that any man who trusts in man is cursed, we readily dismiss the fact that man is limited and is constrained by limitations and therefore his help will likewise be limited, and proceed to place our hopes squarely on the shoulders of mere mortals. We idolize men, we make them icons, and we consider them to be the hope that will change the world into a nirvana of sorts where everyone will live out their lives in a perpetual bliss, only to be heartbroken and disillusioned upon realizing we have placed our hope in the wrong thing when we chose man over God. Men will fail you; men will disappoint you; men will fall short of your expectation, but God never will. When your hope is in God, it is sure and steadfast; it is built upon an unchanging foundation and a divine promise.
The second question, is do we choose to hope in riches or in God. I realize it is becoming increasingly difficult to hope in riches, since they are disappearing like a fog before the rays of the sun, but men still cling to possessions like sinking mariners to cement blocks not realizing the object of their hope is dragging them down into hopelessness.
1 Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.”
There are countless examples in God’s word that point out the futility of trusting in one’s possessions. No matter how much one might have amassed, no matter how certain they are of the security possessions may afford them, they will be for naught, for they are temporal things. We hoard and amass today, making plans for an uncertain future, not knowing the fundamental question whether we’ll even be here tomorrow to enjoy the fruit of our labors.
There is nothing wrong in being rich, as long as one views his riches as trivial possessions. When one however is possessed by his wealth, when material things are what define them as a person, then the fall from such deception will be too difficult to endure for some.
We can point to the rich young ruler, who desired to follow after Christ, until he heard the price of discipleship. Christ knew that this young man was possessed by his possessions rather than a love and passion for Him, and simply told him to sell everything he had and give it to the poor. For the young man, it was too high a price.
Abraham on the other hand, was also a rich man, but he did not hope in his possessions. Abraham hoped in God, and God alone, and for this he had the honor of being called God’s friend. The third question is whether our hope is in this present life or the life to come. This morning I woke up to the news that there was an earthquake in Italy that claimed the lives of close to one hundred people. A couple days ago, a man walked into an immigration center and took the lives of thirteen individuals. Every day that goes by we cannot escape the fact that life is fragile, and life is short. The whole of creation seems to be pointing out that we are temporary beings, here only for a season. Any man who trusts in this present life, being indifferent toward eternity, is truly a fool among fools.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”
The fourth and final question is whether we have a temporary hope or an eternal one. A temporary hope, hopes in temporary things. An eternal hope, hopes in eternal things. We might be going through the valley of tears, we may be enduring suffering and hardship, but we know that all these things are passing, for our hope is eternal. Life does not end at the cemetery gates, and our loving Father promised us an eternal rest. If our hope is eternal, then we walk boldly into tomorrow, fueled by the peace and the joy that comes with knowing that heaven is being prepared for us, and one day we will be welcomed into our Father’s home.
Perhaps God is molding and chiseling you today, perhaps he has placed you in the furnace of affliction, but if your hope rests in Him, if your hope rests in the life to come, if your hope is an eternal hope, you will weather the hardship, you will weather the storm, all the while being thankful to God for leading you in His truth and teaching you His paths. We cannot enter heaven while still clinging to this earth. God is not a fan of dual citizenships, and in this time of global troubles He is attempting to show His children how foolish it is to hope in earthly things, and how wise it is to hope in eternal ones.
Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all day.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.


Daniel Eggers said...

In the coming days the Lord is going to have those He has been preparing to stand up. The burden of what is to come has been heavy upon my heart, I agree with you Michael, men and women, old and young will soon have only the Lord to rely on. The lie will be exposed and the Truth will prevail. God Bless you and the encouragment your posts have brought to me. God Bless. -A fellow soldier in the Lord's army

Zoe Elizabeth said...

Everything you are talking about is everything I have been thinking and praying about lately. I used to put all my hope in earthly things, but God took them away to show me that all I need is Him. Thank you for your words. You have a strong, encouraging voice. Keep it up. Traveling Mercies.

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