What happens when we place our hope in money? It gets spent. What happens when we place our hope in people? They act like people. What happens when we place our hope in good health? We catch a cold one day or a cancer diagnosis the next.
I believe God has used the past 7 days to try and help me understand why His Word encourages us to put our hope, not on Earthly things, but in Him!
God knows we live in a fallen world filled with the groans of pain as women in labor. Every now and again, life happens and I get a sweet reminder that perhaps my hope has shifted from that which is unseen: Him and heaven, onto that which is seen: paychecks, good health, a good reputation, comfort, and happiness.
God knows that which is seen is fading. Those things indeed serve a purpose, yet they are temporal, circumstantial, unfit for supporting hope.
As author and teacher Jennie Allen put it, “there are only two unmovable objects I know of… God and heaven.”
Let’s place our hope there!
We all know kids are flaky, jobs are iffy, even your best friend is flawed. Your mate is messy, you yourself are unpredictable, health fades, reputations are attacked, motives are questioned, and even good deeds go unnoticed.
Why oh why do we hope in, live for, and depend on those things for our sense of purpose and joy?
Well, because we are people.
The good news is we are a people loved by a gracious and present Father. He’ll use the disappointment, the trauma, the pain, and the grief to show us Him. He’ll provide comfort, direction, and peace through it all. All the while helping us to more clearly see that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV). In other words, “these hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:17 MSG).
I don’t know what the past 7 years, 7 months, or even the past 7 days have looked like for you. Maybe they’ve been filled with the heartache this world and its inhabitants have to offer. Consider this: let this world and its inhabitants off of the hook. Lower your expectations of those two and raise your expectations of their Creator as you begin to live for and hope in Him.
Side note: Y’all know me… I’m over here like: “ok… I’m willing to ‘place my hope in Christ.’ One question though: How?! What does that mean practically?”
Here it is: We place our hope in Christ when we have an experience—good or bad—and we respond by doing the next right thing. We find out what that is through prayer, scripture, and Godly counsel.
We place our hope in Christ by feeling the lump, then making the appointment; receiving that late night phone call, then reaching out for support; reading the latest headline, then speaking to our family about what we can do to make an impact; seeing the lack, and lending a hand.
These responses may be accompanied by tears, curse words, bowed heads, and hurt feelings.
Just keep moving towards Him. Let the stuff be the flaky, fading stuff that it is, while you and your hope move towards the trustworthy, unmovable, unchanging God that He is.
That, my sister is how we place our hope in Him.