Greetings in the name of God the source of hope!
We all need hope!
Scripture affirms that hope is one of the three most essential and lasting qualities for our lives.
13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13.13)
Love may be the greatest of the three but hope along with faith are essential anchors for our lives of love.
“Hope” is commonly used to mean a wish, and its strength is the strength of the person’s desire. But in the Bible hope is so much more than a wish based on human desire. Biblical Hope is the confident expectation and assurance of what God has promised and its strength is in God’s unwavering faithfulness to fulfil the promises. Biblical hope is confident that our present and our future is held by God who is faithful and good, and working for our good.
Over the last 7 months we have lived through an unprecedented time. We have faced realities we have not faced before, restrictions that have been hard, and we are making decisions we had not imagined. And this “time” is not done! Along with Covid-19 we continue to face the other more common circumstances of life that threaten to overwhelm us. The death of a loved one (or two or more), the loss of a job or a relationship, a physical health crisis, the regular life changes that come…. Solid foundations of our lives have been shaken and our “soul” is sometimes weary and restless.
The writer to the Hebrews speaks of hope as the anchor for our souls.
Therefore, we who have fled to [God] for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Hebrews 6:18-19 (NLT)
The Message translation says it this way:
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God…
What is this hope that the writer refers to as an “anchor for our soul”, or an “unbreakable spiritual lifeline”? This hope is the assurance that God will keep all the promises that God has made.
The writer of Hebrews had just named Abraham, who had patiently endured through times of struggle and obtained the promise God had made to him and his family. Abraham and the people of God discovered over and over that God is faithful to do what God has promised. The promise was not always fulfilled when and how they expected but they came to discover that God would always be faithful to the promises God had made! This was their hope, the anchor for their soul, the unbreakable spiritual lifeline they clung to.
What promise of God do you most need to hear right now and hold onto as your “anchor for the soul”; your “unbreakable spiritual lifeline”? God has promised so many things: steadfast love, continuing presence through all that life brings, healing for our lives, freedom from sin and all that binds us, renewal and restoration for all! Through the prophet Jeremiah God brought all these promises together in such a powerful way.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29)
Although those words of promise were spoken in a very specific time and place to a very specific people they continue to speak so clear and broadly to all of us now. The whole story of the Bible affirms this to be true. God continues to work for our wellbeing, for a good future for all! God continues to promise us abiding presence and steadfast love! God continues to lead us to new life, now and for all eternity! In Revelation 21 as John writes about his vision of the restored new heaven and new earth he records these words from the throne of God, “Look, I am making everything new!” (5)
Our present and our future is held by, and being fashioned by, our God who loves us with a steadfast love. God is making all things new! This is our hope! This is the “anchor for our soul”; our “unbreakable spiritual lifeline”!
Hope for this moment and for the future, in a present that is difficult and hard, can be a wonderful gift. As people of hope we are privilege to share hope with each other and with the world around us. Hope brings a light into the darkness, peace into chaotic times, comfort to those who mourn, confidence to those that fear, and the reminder of God’s presence to those that feel so alone. We share hope through our words and actions, through our presence and our prayers. We share hope as we extend God’s love to those around us! We share hope in so many ways. This week we invite you to use a pumpkin to help share HOPE!