SCRIPTURE ROMANS 8:18-24
One old time preacher said that there are wounded people in every pew. I have observed this also. Everyone of us carries life’s wounds. While we all have our own wounds, often we attempt to fix the wounds of those around us. Only God is capable of fixing people’s wounds.
In the English language, the word hope is an anemic, weak word. When we aren’t certain of an outcome, we frequently say that we hope for the best. In the Bible, hope has another meaning. When you drive from Murry, KY to Mayfield, KY, you will see a sign for the Little Hope Baptist Church. I had a pastor say to me once while I was attending college there, “why don’t they change the name of that church to Some Hope Baptist Church or A Lot of Hope Baptist Church?”
There are many passages in the Bible that give Christians hope. In Romans 8:18, Paul wrote “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
We can look to Isaiah for words of hope. Isaiah 55:1-2 “Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. “ This is an announcement of the coming renewal of life. People had been carried off to Babylon into captivity under desperate circumstances. They longed for Jerusalem. They wondered if God was still present. Isaiah assured them and us that despite appearances, God is near and available. “Incline your ear and come to me. Listen, so that you may live. Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call upon him while he is near.”
Hope liberates. It is a door. Hosea 2:15 “I will give the valley of Anchor a door of hope.” If we seek it and the door is open for us, even if it is just a crack, we can walk through and find hope.
There was a famous painting of Jesus carrying a lantern and knocking at a closed door with no handle on the outside. The artist showed it to his friends. They pointed what they perceived as a defect in the painting. The door had no handle or latch on the outside to open it. The painter replied, “The door has no handle on the outside because it must be opened from the inside. The door represents our hearts.” The painting was a visual portrayal of Revelation 3:20 “Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come to his house and eat with him, and he will eat with me.” This message teaches us that Jesus is knocking at the door of our hearts waiting for our invitation to enter and be with us.
God gives us hope. He also hopes that we will believe in Him all of the time, not just when we find the time or are in a desperate situation. It is said that though God is omnipotent and omnipresent, the human mind and heart are special places where He enters only with our consent. He has given us the freedom to frame our attitude toward Him. Open the door of your heart and greet our Lord with pleasure. Let us seek His blessings. Ask Him to purify your head, heart, hands, and habits. Christian hope is present in a person who has gazed on the face of God and sees Jesus. Does this describe you?