Examining our Hope

Loving God (from 2012-macbook-air)“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”          1 Cor. 15:19 (ESV)

Chapter         (ESV)

Audio              (6:48)

Last week I referred to the 3 virtues that encapsulate the dynamic of the spiritual life.

Those 3 virtues are faith, hope, and love.

In his book, A Layman’s Guide to Applying the Bible, Walter Henrichsen describes 4 approaches people have regarding hope.

First there are those who have no hope.

Hope may be lost through personal tragedy, chronic illness, or a difficult life of suffering. A life without hope is a difficult life. If hope is not regained in some way, the result is often suicide or deep depression.

More common are those who have misplaced hope.

As Paul mentions in today’s verse, they hope in something or someone in this world. It may be something that is good…like children or family.

It might be something that is not obviously wrong or evil such as success in this world. As physicians, we can easily place our hope in achieving success or popularity within our practice of medicine. We might also place our hope in the security that comes with our profession that provides us with a solid retirement plan.

The possibilities are endless, but the truth remains…no matter how good that thing or person is…if our hope is in this world…it is misplaced.

We eventually discover this truth when our worldly hope fails us…as it always does.

Children disappoint…success is fleeting…popularity capricious… and retirement plans volatile.

Paul tells us that if we are followers of Jesus and hope in this life only…we are to be pitied.

If we have our hope in this world, we have misplaced our hope.

We are living for the wrong things…and have missed the most important thing.

We should suspect misplaced hope if we experience volatile mood swings or our attitude is too dependent on circumstances.

God never changes…hope placed on Him is solid and sure.

Hope placed on God brings joy.

Take some time to examine where your hope lies…

Is it on something or someone in this world?

Or is it on Someone who is not of this world?

Prayer: Lord show me where I’ve placed my hope and help me to place it firmly on You and Your promises.

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