I have a hope in God

I have a hope in God… that there is going to be a resurrection, both of the righteous and the unrighteous.

–Paul, Acts 24:15 HCSB

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.… For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!

But as for me, God’s presence is my good. I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, so I can tell about all You do.

Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care.

Your Father knows [your needs]. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Zech. 9:12, 17 ESV; Ps.73:28 HCSB; Ps.95:6,7 HCSB; Luke 12:30-32 HCSB

I’m struck by what a difference it makes where our hopes are staked. When we’re really trusting God, the present circumstances don’t matter so much because they are not all there is. I know there’s a strong cultural trend right now to ‘live in the moment’, ‘be fully present’, and make the most of NOW. This has its merits. But sometimes, this is not enough to bring peace of mind. Consider the following scenarios. Without a focus beyond the moment these folks were in trouble!

God’s people are in a desert in want of WATER! They think they’re gonna die! Rather than trust their Shepherd with their needs they protest the wait and scheme about a return to slavery. They have not understood God’s ways. They’ve forgotten their great Hope. They will find no rest. (Ex.17)

God’s servant, Paul, is falsely accused by envious religious leaders and ends up in jail interminably. Instead of protesting, he shares his greatest hope at every opportunity, gaining audience with kings! It’s not about him.(Acts 25ff)

David is predestined to be the King of Israel but is still fleeing from the conniving King Saul who wants to see him dead! Hiding out in caves and foreign lands he waits and refuses every opportunity to bring about ‘justice’ and put himself on the throne. His hope in God is firmly fixed. (I Samuel)

Have you heard of Charles Templeton? He was once slated to be as famous an evangelist as Billy Graham (1940’s). But in the face of inexplicable suffering, modern “scientific” claims and the like he began to doubt. Gradually he allowed his reasoning to trump the Word of God until he came to renounce the hope he had once proclaimed. His 1996 book, Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith, came into my hands while sorting donated books at our local thrift store this week. What a sorry tale of abandoned hope.

Closer to home, two young church families have lost their fathers in our town this year. Their wives are left to face the valley of grief with little ones in tow. I’m praying that the sure hope of a coming Resurrection will anchor their hearts in this agonizing season, even while the God of hope walks with them through all the present moments.

These accounts remind me that it’s the tough times that show up where our hopes are anchored. Lousy harbors and poorly tied knots will do the job when all is calm. Meditating on the wonders of the present moment might even bring a certain peace of mind. But storms come. May we be counted amoung the faithful Hebrews 11 crew who endured all sorts of horrific things in this lifetime knowing they had a better hope coming!

To mix up the metaphor, may we run with endurance the racecourse especially marked out for us by keeping our eyes on Jesus, our Resurrected Saviour and our ever living High Priest!

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb.4:14-16 ESV

Who else is there?

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Jn.6:58 ESV

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Blessed is the one who is not offended by me. –Jesus

Matt.11:2-3 ESV

But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…

I Pet.3:14-15

God grant that we be people marked by hope, beacons to the Resurrection and the Life!


P.S. I’m hoping to get back to regular posts here and would be very much encouraged to know you’ve stopped for a minute to read here today. ( :
Do say hello in the comments…

11 thoughts on “I have a hope in God

  1. I, for one, always read your well-crafted words. I know it is frustrating to feel that no one is reading but I have another way to look at it. I write and then let God choose whether or not it should be read, and by whom. He knows me so well. He knows I would hate to have a huge following, obligated to respond to dozens of comments. I really prefer anonymity, running free under the radar. Just do what you are inspired to do and let God use your skills to serve His will. 🙂

      • While sitting on the back deck of our old boat yesterday morning, watching as God painted another stunning sunrise, a small skiff puttered out of the marina headed for a favorite fishing hole. Hardly noticeable. I might have missed it had I been looking to the left. Several minutes later, a series of waves came washing into the hull, rocking our boat, a craft twenty times the size of the small one that left the wake.

        If we claim we wish to serve God, we don’t have know the effect we have – we just need to continue being the cause. 🙂

    • It’s so easy to have Earth bound hopes… Till they vanish. Ideally our real hopes should be first in our hearts but… Thanks for being there, Gwen

  2. There’s nothing like a set back or a disappointment to show up my bad theology. Thanks for persevering here with words that challenge me to think and to poke around in The Book for a solid connection to the only Source of Hope.
    So good to hear that you’re back in the writing groove again!

  3. Hello!! Agreed, it had been too long since we last heard from you! Your message came at the perfect time for me as our community is grieving the anticipated loss of a dear friend and ministry leader on hospice— at the age of 51. I needed the reminder this afternoon that we are the “beacon”
    of hope of the Resurrection, not just of extended life on this phone earth. Thank you for challenging me and my theology. As always, Linda! Love and miss you so much— and I’m so glad as well that you are back at the keyboard! Rest assured, He is using you and your pen.

    • Hi Paula. I’ve been MIA around her but…hope to make a comeback yet! Thanks for saying hello. I sometimes get to thinking I’m just talking to myself (which is maybe ok, I need these words from the Word!)

  4. I think my first message went MIA, so I am going to try to recreate it. Linda, HELLO!
    I am so grateful you’re back at the keyboard– my heart skipped a beat when I noticed your Dawn Ponderings appear in my in-box with the anticipation of hearing from you and your God-given insights, and pictures, too. Always such a gift! I am blown away by your timing and how God has used it to convict me today as a dear friend and ministry leader here in Tucson is transitioning to heaven on hospice– and as we all hope and pray for a miracle of healing, for longer days on earth, you reminded me that I am to be a Beacon of the Resurrection to come. Thank you, Linda, for sharing the timely jewels of wisdom from His Word, through your pen. Miss you so much– love you, Paula <3

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