Wednesday, March 25, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 76)

Jesus said, “For anyone who asks receives, and the person who searches for something finds it, and to the person who is knocking the door will be opened.”
— Matthew 7:8 (USC)
Hope is the truest beacon for life.
It is hope that transcends the given complexities, anxieties, and tumults of the day; what is hoped for is something altogether beautiful and we survive the grind, the dilemma, the pain of loss, and the chiding sense of frustration when we hope upon the hope we have. Hope is what takes us through the Badlands.
In context, Jesus speaks about the greatest hope; to be saved of God; to enjoy the truth as it is quickened to our souls; to magnify the hope to which all humanity — deeper down — clings. We may endeavour to resist God all we want in this life, but God will get our attention one way or other.
When we consider that hope is the truest beacon for life, we need, necessarily, to include truth as the contingency on that hope — for hope based on untruth is a bad faith.
But a good hope looks like this: to ask in the expectation of being answered; to search for something in the expectation of finding it; to knock with the expectation that the door will swing open. But a more fundamental promise lies dormant in the truth that, when we put God’s kingdom and his righteousness first, all these expectations will come to be realised in their own time!
The nature of life is that we will hope and hope and hope. Despair is the sign of real hope, for, in despair, we still have the vibrancy of hope — a hope that is grieving. When we are beyond despair — when we have given up — there is no hope and, therefore, no vision. We might as well barrel on without a single purpose.
Hope gets us through that despair we face. It forces us to get up in the morning for fear of missing out on the promised fulfilment. Who knows, it could be today!
How does God know he’s got a diligent and real disciple? Besides the fact he knows how we will react, we still have the outworking of our faith-path to accomplish; we prove ourselves worthy to ourselves of our calling.
One day we will stand crowned. One day all our hope in sum will be realised. One day we will be furnished by the corrections of justice — a beautiful but fearful day! But there is nothing to fear in the hopes we wait upon now; those we don’t give up on. Because, that final day will be their realisation!
Still, hope now. For there are many things we do not yet have that one day soon, in this life, we will have.
The presence of unrealised hope in this life is the assurance of hope’s fulfilment in eternity.
1.     What is the boldest expression of faith? What would it look like in your life?
2.     Think on a desire or need that you’ve long been patient for; how is God preparing you for eternity in your ‘patience’ of waiting?
3.     Think about a thing that you long hoped for that was realised. Think about another. Do you see the faithfulness of God in the delivery of those hopes?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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