On Faith: Find your solid ground to standThe days are getting longer and the average temperature is rising ever so slightly each day.
By: Rev. Jim Joseph, Living Waters Fellowship, Two Harbors, Lake County News Chronicle
The days are getting longer and the average temperature is rising ever so slightly each day. Winter is loosening its grip on the Northland and the inhabitants are beginning to feel the start of cabin fever. Such is the cycle of the seasons and the cycle of life. Winter flows into spring. Spring blossoms into summer which then fades to fall. Finally fall yields to the tug of winter’s frost and the cycle begins all over again.
Such are our lives – they move so slowly at times and yet as we look back, the years flew by “faster than the weaver’s shuttle.” In our cycle of life we can be certain of only one thing – death. For some, death is a feared enemy and the eternal end.
As C.S. Lewis wrote in “Chronicles of Narnia” of a land governed by evil, death becomes a time of “always winter but never Christmas.” For others death is a merely a change in seasons- that blossoming of winter into an eternal spring. What makes the difference? Hope in God’s Word and in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hope (in its spiritual sense) is not “hope so.” A person may hope to win the lottery jackpot or find the elusive million dollar Monopoly piece at McDonald’s but this is really wish rather than a certainty. Real hope is the absolute confidence that the promises contained in both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are true and will be fulfilled exactly as God said they would be.
Hope takes consolation and comfort in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ when He said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Hope and faith are intertwined. Steve Adams wrote, “God said it and I believe it and that settles it for me.” That expresses the reality of Biblical hope. I hear God’s Word proclaimed. By faith, I believe what He says is true. I am content in my soul and know that everything He said will be accomplished according to His plan and purpose and in His time. I look forward in hope to the sure fulfillment of the promises in His Word.
The Apostle Paul puts it this way in Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (English Standard Version)
Edward Mote was a pastor and hymn writer. He was born in London on Jan. 21, 1797. His most famous hymn is “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less.” Here are the world to the first verse and chorus:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
In these days when things often seem hopeless, may you find hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. The hope He gives is sufficient for today, tomorrow, and eternity.
Rev. Jim Joseph, along with his wife Barbara, serves as pastor of Living Waters Fellowship in Two Harbors.