Thursday, March 15, 2012

Set Your Hope in God

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13).

For me looking at the news can get quite discouraging at times, especially since my nature is that of a political junkie. I'm drawn into the drama of  the debates, studying the character of those in Washington (most of the time that is an empty chapter), I also by nature am a competitive individual, so the fight between the right and left intrigues me.

I also love my Country and it saddens me to see the direction we are heading-humanism, secularism, and all of the ungodly philosophies that are daily attacking the home and the family. I know that Satan who is the god of this world ( 2 Cor. 4:4) is active and will be relentless in his hatred toward God's truth.

This brings me to the verse that I posted...let me share a few thoughts on the topic of Biblical hope. We all need hope, we all experience pain, sorrow, and disappointment, and as long as we live in this world we will have many a large servings of pain, sorrow, and disappointment.

The one thing that I find so fascinating about God's word is that it always has the ANSWERS to all of my problems. There are certainly times when I have to do my homework and discover these truths, but it is always so worth it.

Let me share one of the 5 W's we all need to do before we do any Biblical interpretation- that is the WHY of  biblical interpretation, in other words, why was was 1 Peter written?

The believers that  were addressed were suffering intense persecution under the Roman emperor Nero, remember him, he burnt Rome and needed a scapegoat, so he blamed the Christians, so this letter was to teach these believers how to live victoriously in the midst of suffering without losing their hope.

Here are two encouraging thoughts from the text:

1. The battle is won or lost in the mind (therefore prepare your minds and be sober minded)-believers have to "think right" and the only way to think right is to think Biblically. In counseling others, the one big problem that people present is a "faulty thinking pattern" which can lead to all kinds of mental and emotional problems.

2. The believer must never lose hope (set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the return of Christ)-Hope is a portion of faith, hope is faith in the future tense. The believer lives his life believing that this world is not his home, he sets his sights on eternal realities. The believer assures himself that his salvation will be secured by his sovereign Lord.

Summary: Christian, no matter how bad things are for you right now you are encouraged to set your hope in God's grace that He will bring about your salvation to the end. Many times the hard things have a way of showing us that our hope is still in this world...the hard times are used by God to wean us off this worlds pleasures and bring us to set our affections on things above.

Father, help us to set our hope on your grace...give us the confidence that You will bring us safely home.Help us to set our thinking on the things that are eternal, give us the grace to hold onto the fact that one day we will be glorified and have all our pains and sorrows removed.

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