“… We might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast …” (Hebrews 6:18, 19)
The imagery painted in the Scriptures is graphic and should be very reassuring. Life is not for the weak … nor is it exclusive to the powerful or wealthy. Troublesome times are certainly scenes that all of us are much too familiar with.
And these troublesome times are not just around us or the boat we’re sailing on in choppy waters … they can be and often are in the boat with us!
It matters not which gender you are of the two … not your age … your skin type … or the country or state you live in. There is one thing among several that we all have in common and that is we know what it means to hurt! Tears, heartache, disappointment, disease and even disaster … none of these are respecters of persons.
How then do we respond to these unsettling but true situations in life? The case could be made regarding the inspired writings of the apostles, Paul, John, and Peter … Paul was preeminently the writer of faith, while John was the writer of love, and Peter the writer of hope. It is not without notice that all three of these apostles addressed all three of these subjects in detail.
Directing our attention to the writings recorded in 1 Peter 1, we find Peter expressing confidence in “… the living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (v.3) There is to be found in this expression a source of stability through all seasons of one’s life. Having a “living hope” is founded upon “the living word of God” and its truthful acknowledgment and verity that we have God’s Word in completion and preservation.
I have seen enough of man’s thoughts and ‘I think this and that’ … to realize that man’s wisdom cannot be trusted or depended upon. But God’s Word, on the other hand, can be trusted and relied upon. It is from the inspired pages of His Book that we are able to see what God has to say about the past, present, and future. Simply stated, God’s Word when read, studied, and meditated upon offers us assurance, and hope that God is still and always will be in control!
It can be unsettling as we go through the unsteady waters of this life … but it has been seen by this writer and by many of you that when people are faced with the great challenges of heartache, sickness, suffering, and even persecution, and mistreatment … the only thing that can provide real confidence and lasting hope is the holy, inspired Word of God!
God doesn’t allow these things … tragic accidents, lingering or debilitating health issues, physical handicaps, and business failures to hurt us. He allows them to prove and test the quality of our faith and trust in Him.
Do I have this “living hope” firmly planted in my own heart? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Can anyone take it from me … namely Satan and his minions? No! But if I find myself enticed by the world and it’s shiny and desirable things and ways, I can loosen my grip in grasping for them and to my own demise, just let it go.
One of the primary assurances Paul offers to the child of God in Romans 8:37-39 is that we “are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Faith reaches out for strength, and it is hope that gives something to hold onto.
Bill Fairchild, Jr.