We read Scripture and want to be like this, don’t we? We want to be the ideal and perfect person we see there. We want to keep the laws immaculately, we want to be everything that God wants us to be, don’t we? But without exception our flesh is weak and alone we will never do it, and that repeated failure can create a hopeless feeling. We need help, and we need hope.
Often people reminisce about years gone by and lament that they didn’t live in previous generations. Just think though, if we found ourselves living in yesteryear, in Old Testament times and under the Old Covenant, then we would be bound to keep laws that try as we might, we would never be able to keep. We would want to, so badly, but whilst the mind is willing, the flesh is so weak (Matthew 26.41). This Old Covenant, this old way of relating to God was rooted in what we needed to do; keep the laws, maintain righteousness (Deuteronomy 30.15-18, 1 Samuel 12.14-15).
The New Covenant, a new way of relating to God, was promised by Jeremiah and was brought into play by the death of Jesus (Jeremiah 31.31-33, Luke 22.20). It sits internally within us, it has the power to actually change you, but it is rooted externally. It no longer rests on you in order to be affective. Can you feel the burden lifted and the hope restored?
The hope we need is not found in anything we do,
in anything we can earn,
or in anything we deserve.
The hope we need for the future is found in the promise and person of Jesus. He is the guarantor of this covenant, He promises better things for you;
Jesus promised rest (Matthew 11). Burdens are lifted at Calvary and hope came alive.
Jesus promised abundant to those who follow Him (John 10.10). Following Jesus brings us more spiritual fulfilment than we could have ever anticipated. We leave any traces of a boring, restless, unfulfilled life behind.
Jesus promised eternal life to those who trust Him (John 4.14). The Good Shepherd also promised to hold us securely.
Jesus promised that He will return for us (John 14.2-3). From then on, we will be with Him always.
No matter how many promises God has made, they are all yes and amen in Christ (2 Corinthians 1.20).
Don’t look outwardly for hope as if it rests on circumstances, behaviour, or others. The world as we know it has just crumbled and melted away this past couple of months, hasn’t it? Everything we put stock in for contentment, fulfilment, or security has been found wanting.
Don’t look inwardly as if it rests on you.
Where is the hope we all need? Look upwardly.
Whatever we are going through, no matter the circumstances, there is no greater hope for today and for the future than the hope found in Jesus.
There is no promise of a trouble free life, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. There will be hardship, there will be tough and troubling times, but, there is the promise that you will not go through it alone.
There is the promise that whatever you are going through, that He knows, that He cares, and that it is all working together to change you little by little more into the image of Himself.