Hallowed or Hollow Hope
This has been a very interesting and highly enjoyable week for us. My wife turned 70 this week and the children and myself planned a surprise birthday party. Man was she surprised! We had a great time; Lisa & Harold Grooms prepared a feast and there was friends and family we hadn’t see in a while. God blessed the socks off of our little family.
Most of us today don’t have a proper understanding of hope, especially the hope which is spoken of in the bible. I love this writing in Webster's 1828 Dictionary; Hope (noun), A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety. Did you catch it? Most of our hope is so thoughtless and self-centered, that it is no more than the wish or desire described by Webster.
Unfortunately; Christian’s of today have fallen into the exact same mind set as the Israelites are spoken of in Exodus. No matter how great the miracles God performed, the Israelite’s were only impressed temporarily, and soon went back to blaming God and complaining about Moses and Aron. Exodus 16:1-2 (NLT), 1 Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt. 2 There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron. Their belief was so weak that their hope was still of and in this world.
This is a common condition (disease if you will) which has reached epidemic proportion with millions of Christian’s today. Human flesh is temporal ergo people look for the now. We live in an instant, I want it now world, along with the earthly teaching, “only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” Exodus 32:1 (NLT), When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” Sound familiar! When God doesn’t make things happen when we want or how we want, we usually seek to make things happen on our own. Which is never a good idea!
Again, as the Christian’s of Israel found themselves weak, impatient and without hope. They took it upon themselves to make something happen Exodus 32:3-4 (NLT),
3 All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” Been there done that, got the T-shirt! It took a while for God to get me to understand that my impatience made for the perfect (in head) playground for Satan. He (Satan) used doubt to weaken my faith and destroy my hope in God so I could place it in the world (which is of Satan). You see the human in us sees the world as real because our brain can see, feel and smell the reality of what it has been taught. Ergo, we tend to see the worlds ways as the easy way, to live.
Again, as in those days, today is it’s equal. “We want what we want!” Exodus 32:21-22 (NLT), 21 Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?” 22 “Don’t get so upset, my lord,” Aaron replied. “You yourself know how evil these people are. No matter how we see ourselves, this speaks of who we really are, when left to the flesh. However, there is HOPE, real hope in Jesus. Who gives us the strength knowledge and hope to overcome these primal desires of the flesh. Give this a few seconds to sink in. All we have is hope, to keep us up or down, negative hope = impatient / disappointment, while positive hope = patient / excitement. To make this easier, true hope in Jesus is always expectant whereas hope in anything else is a wish or a dream, (a chance as in gambling).
The bottom line is, the good news in, Romans 8:24-25 (NLT), 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) Here’s the rub (so to speak), we’ve had misguided earthly hope (things we can see, feel and smell) since birth and we’ve used it, but when we are saved we’re given the spiritual hope recorded in, Hebrews 11:1 (NLT), Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Just as with anything new, we have to learn that which we’ve been given, and Jesus is our teacher. The better student we are the stronger our hope shall be and we’re never too young or old to learn! I’ll close this edition leaving you to decide the category your hope floats in; Google dictionary- hollow; having a hole or empty space inside without significance or Google dictionary- hallowed; made holy; consecrated: greatly revered and honored.
Romans 15:13 (NLT), I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!