“A Hope that will not fade”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
The Apostle Paul wrote to believers in Rome and said that suffering is not the last word for those who belong to Jesus. God has given us hope that “does not put us to shame… because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
The psalmist asked himself a question that many have asked. He received God’s answer. His question was, “Why am I depressed?” God’s answer was because he had no hope! Psalm 42:11, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
Whenever there is persecution and suffering in the Christian Church, God has the last word! Those who are in Christ have been given the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who guarantees our inheritance, which is heaven. Believers have been given an eternal perspective. We know that this life is not all that there is. Our eternal perspective is God’s means by which we will have the courage to stand against evil with whatever resources He has provided.
Hope is an eager expectation of fulfillment of a future blessing. When people hope they are expressing trust in or reliance upon the one whom they believe will bring fulfillment. Without hope, we wander aimlessly in life and are tossed around by every one of its circumstances. Possessing genuine hope is God’s means to “count it all joy” in the face of trials and tribulations.
We intuitively know that there must be more to life than what we see. This world is not all that there is. There is more to life than this world. There is a greater hope than our political, economic, or personal relationships can offer. God’s promise of hope is more than this world’s offers and is far above and apart from it. The Christian’s hope transcends the evil we see and experience. The Christian’s hope is transcendent because of the One from whom it proceeds, namely the Triune God.
Only God who has revealed Himself as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit can give ultimate hope. God said that ultimate hope is eternal glory. The Apostle Paul writing God’s words said “the mystery hidden for ages but now revealed to His saints” is ultimate hope. Ultimate hope is “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
Christians possess ultimate hope. God gives hope to all those whom He chose “before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him. In love God predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.” Ephesians 1:4-5
Those whom God chose to be in Christ are children of God. Believers have been set apart by God for His glory. In Christ, we have been given everything that we need. One of those needs is a hope that cannot be shaken.
It seems clear that we are facing evil more and more every day. We need God’s protection. We need to have the courage to stand against the evil of radical Islam. In so doing, the church universal must be assured of the hope that cannot be shaken. The church must teach her members that God has given a hope that will never fade.
Now, perhaps more than ever in our nation, Christians must think biblically about the world around us. We are a people who are sure that God will have the final word. He will stamp out evil. Christ defeated Satan 2,000 yrs. ago. The Devil and his fallen angels are on a short leash. “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Corinthans 15:57
To think biblically, we must know what the Bible says. We are to meditate upon God’s word. We are to fill our minds with what God has said. There is no short cut to “holding every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2Corinthians 10:5
Christian, ground yourself in the word of God so that you might hold fast to the hope that will not fade. Read and study the Bible privately. Find a church that teaches the Bible accurately and faithfully. May we all stand against the current evil we face in the power of God’s Holy Spirit.