Sunday, April 20, 2008

Diligent to Hope! (church bulletin cover)

When I feel shaken by the gritty gusts of life and my confidence in God is not so sure, it’s likely that I’ve pulled up what the writer to the Hebrews called “the anchor of the soul”, which is our hope in Christ (Hebrews 6:19). I certainly have my days when I struggle to trust God, and you can be sure that my focus on those days is on me and my circumstances rather than on Jesus. Keeping my focus on Jesus on such days is an effort. But nobody should feel less spiritual just because it’s work to trust in God! We’re in a battle, and to remain confident in the smoke of it ought to call for diligence.

Hope takes work. Hebrews 6:11 speaks of a “diligence” necessary for realizing “the full assurance of hope.” And then warning us of sluggishness, the writer to the Hebrews exhorts us to imitate those who inherited the promises of God “through faith and patience” (6:12). This makes it clear to me that God fulfilling His promises in our lives is not likely to be some short-term, quick-fix, instant-gratification kind of scene. Hoping in God’s promises requires persevering faith in tough times and hard-fought patience as we wait for God’s timing.

But Hebrews 6 makes it abundantly clear that this is no futile exercise. God provides us with great words of hope in this passage so that we can lower the anchor of our soul — our hope in Jesus — into the bedrock of God’s Word, and be deeply encouraged. Words of hope like “I will surely bless you…” (6:14), “...the unchangeableness of His purpose...” (6:17), and “...a hope both sure and steadfast...” (6:19).

God’s Word is Truth, and Jesus is God’s Word made flesh. And I want to make every effort to keep the anchor of my soul hooked on Jesus as I face the aggressive gusts and sea swells of this life. Whatever the circumstances, we can be sure of the hope we have in the One who sits on the throne of grace: Jesus our great High Priest (4:14-16; 6:20)!

© 2008 by Ken Peters

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