This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. – 1 Timothy 4:10
“If Jesus had remained in the tomb, we never would have been bothered with something so intrusive as hope.” – Rebekah Maul
I’ve got to tell you, this really grabbed me Sunday morning. The sermon was a strong, compelling message from beginning to end, but this one phrase, this one idea, so encapsulates the heart of the gospel message I had to write it down.
So we talked about it after church over lunch, and then again later (there are certain advantages to being married to the preacher).
“That’s one of the distinct difference between hope and wishful thinking,” I said. “Often we don’t hope, or we walk away from hope, because we literally don’t dare to hope. It’s not that we don’t dare because we are afraid of being disappointed, but that we don’t dare to hope because we are afraid of what hope will require of us…”
We hope “in” – not “for”
Another thing Rebekah pointed out is that our hope is not for God so much as our hope is in God. Like faith, hope is something of substance, rooted in a very real relationship we have with our Creator. This also speaks to the intrusiveness of hope, because it comes out of our active, purposeful engagement with God as we walk, day by day, with Jesus.
At its simplest form, we hope because our hearts tell us that, Jesus loves me, this I know. I shared a version of the song – one I had arranged – during worship. I wanted to bring the song back into the adult consciousness where, if we are not careful, we can lose touch with the uncluttered expressions of our faith.
Here are my words. And, if you want to listen to my arrangement, it immediately precedes Rebekah’s message at this link – Sunday May 3 at WFPC.
- Jesus Loves me this I know – for the Bible tells me so; Young and old to him belong – we’re all weak but God is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me – the Bible tells me so.
- Rock of ages cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound. I once was lost but now am found. Yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me – the Bible tells me so.
- Hark the herald angels sing. All creatures of our God and King. Be thou my vision. Precious Lord. A mighty fortress is our God. Yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me – the Bible tells me so.
Here’s the point: I dare you to hope. I dare you to allow the intrusiveness of God’s initiatives of grace, mercy, light, love, and encouragement to carry you into the future. I dare you to let enough of Jesus in that you are remade by hope. I dare you to stop wishing for and recognize who you find your hope in.
In love, and because love transforms us – DEREK