I’ve always been a fan of the “basics” of Christianity. Really just the basic words of Christianity. The ones that get thrown around a lot. Words like: faith, hope, love, joy, peace and grace. I’m not sure what this says about me, but to me, these basic words make up the whole of who this Jesus really is. He is the author of our faith. He is our hope. He is love. He is joy. He is peace. He is so full of grace. Hope has always been a huge one for me though. Hope is typically spoken with no certainty behind it. Like, “I hope I get to eat pizza tonight” – which, secretly I really do hope this – but there is a pretty big chance that I wont actually get to eat pizza tonight. Bummer. However, in scripture hope is spoken with nothing BUT certainty behind it. For example: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23. That’s like saying “I hope I get to eat pizza tonight” as I’m opening the door for the pizza delivery man. See what I mean? Sorry for the cheesy (ha!) example… but what I’m trying to say is that we can be completely confident in the hope we profess! As believers in Christ, we have been promised an inheritance – one we can HOPE for – and He who promised is faithful. Allllll that to say, my theme for this week has been: Looking forward with HOPE. Am I sad to be leaving? Of course. But I look forward with hope. Has packing been a pain in the butt? Absolutely. But I look forward with hope. Am I emotionally drained? That is an understatement. But I look forward with hope. Do I hate flying? Yep. But I look forward with hope. Will I miss you? My gosh, yes. But I look forward with hope. Am I afraid? No. Because I look forward with hope.
“There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to ONE HOPE when you were called; one Lord, one faith; one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.”
I have been called to one hope. Have you? If so, then be confident in that hope. Pursue it with all that you are. Don’t give up. Hope does not disappoint. If not, what are you hoping in? We all hope in something. Why not have it be something you can be completely confident in? Hope does not disappoint.
My prayer for you (and for me): “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:17-19
I want to leave you with a puritan prayer (from The Valley of Vision, if you don’t have a copy, get one. On Amazon or at The Stone!) that pretty much sums up the specific hope to which I have been called. It’s called “God’s Cause” but it should be called “God’s Cause for Louisa in London”.
Thy cause, not my own, engages my heart, and I appeal to thee with the greatest freedom to set up they kingdom in every place where Satan reigns;
Glorify thyself and I shall rejoice, for to bring honour to thy name is my sole desire.
I adore thee that thou art God, and long that others should know it, feel it, and rejoice in it.
O that all men might love and praise thee, that thou mightest have all glory from the intelligent world!
Let sinners be brought to thee for they dear name!
To the eye of reason everything respecting the conversion of others is as dark as midnight, But thou canst accomplish great things; the cause is thine, and it is to thy glory that men should be saved.
Lord, use me as thou wilt, but, O, promote thy cause, let they kingdom come, let they blessed interest be advanced in this world!
O do thou bring in great numbers to Jesus! let me see that glorious day, and give me to grasp for multitudes of souls; let me be willing to die to that end; and while I live let me labour for thee to the utmost of my strength, spending time profitable in this work, both in health and in weakness.
It is thy cause and kingdom I long for, not my own.
O, answer thou my request!
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, come quickly.