Where is the hope?
There is a lot going on in the world today, and much of it isn’t good. Although humans were created in the image of God, the “news broadcasts" continue to report society’s deterioration as we run further and further from God and the purposes He created us for.
Oftentimes, the sin-caused crumbling is beneath the surface, stewing at the individual level – things like dads not being fathers, pornography replacing love, or self-centered pursuits of money and power. Other times, this deterioration appears in massive public displays – things like wars and terrorism, the abandonment of God’s definition of marriage, and government progressively taking on the role of final authority in peoples’ lives.
I have to admit to feeling overwhelmed from some of the sin-affected problems I’ve dealt with lately, both in my own individual life and as a part of our larger American society. The Bible tells us that the world will worsen before Christ returns, but it is certainly difficult to watch unfold. Sometimes, it feels like we have front row seats to a car accident that no one else can see coming.
But we have to ask the question: “What are we hoping in? Where does our hope come from?”
Are we hoping that the lawyers gets it right and all the laws make society behave as it should?
Are we hoping that the government makes the best decisions and keeps life at a comfortable level?
When individuals, society, or the government runs contrary to God’s design…and we lose hope…it forces us to assess just where our motivation and trust are anchored.
While imprisoned for preaching the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection, Paul wrote a letter to a church he had never met. He knew of them through an associate named Epaphras; however, what he wrote indicates that they had a well-known, Godly reputation. They had both strong faith and strong love, but to know why they were so good at pointing others toward God, read the verses below and see what their faith and love were rooted in:
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the message of truth, the gospel that has come to you.
Their anchor wasn’t in the culture around them. In fact, their anchor wasn’t even in the hope that God would work through their government. The Colossian believers had faith and love, and had them abundantly, because they were focused on the hope reserved for you in heaven. Their hope was in Jesus’ promise of eternal life. Their hope was found within the good news of the message of truth.
So where is our hope? Are we trusting our culture, our circumstances, our government, or our job security to be the foundation of truth in our lives? As society crumbles, will our hope and strength go with it?
Although he said it a number of years ago, Chuck Colson’s words still ring true:
“Where is the hope? I meet millions who tell me that they feel demoralized by the decay around us. Where is the hope? The hope that each of us have is not in who governs us, or what laws are passed, or what great things that we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people, and that’s where our hope is in this country; that where our hope is in life.”