We read Scripture and want to be like the people we see, don’t we?
We want to keep the laws immaculately.
We want to be everything that God wants us to be.
We want to do everything that God wants us to do.
But without exception our flesh is weak and alone we will never do it, and that repeated failure can create a hopeless feeling. Rather , then, than needing to be the perfect person, we need help and we need hope.
When we feel we are failing by today’s cultural standards, people often 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 a myriad 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 and maintain our own righteousness (Deuteronomy 30.15-18, 1 Samuel 12.14-15).
The New Covenant, the 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 in contrast to the Old Covenant it is rooted externally. It no longer rests on you in order to be affective and effective. Can you feel the burden lifted and the hope restored?
The hope we need when we feel we are failing is not found in anything we do,
in anything we can earn,
or in anything we deserve.
The hope we need 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 changed drastically this last two years. Everything we put stock in for contentment, fulfilment, or security has been found wanting.
Don’t look inwardly for hope as if it rests on you.
Don’t look outwardly for hope as if it rests on others.
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.
In Jesus is the promise that whatever you are going through He knows, He cares, and that it is all working together to change you little by little more into the image of God (2 Corinthians 3.18, Romans 8.29).