This is a Song of Hope….
”There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”
Ah, those famous words and opening sentence in one of Rock music’s most cherished anthems. But I have found that in this day and age we don’t seem to have much hope. Some try to buy it. Some try to steal it. Some are real good at faking it. Some have just given up on it. Hope…where did it go in our post-Christian culture?
I have been silent in posting my thoughts for a while. As I told one person who followed my writings, “It seems like everything I write ends up with the same ending…’We need Jesus.’” His reply was, “True, but what is the next step?” As we pondered that question and came up with many things to write about, one thing stood clear, Christians are walking around without joy…without hope.
Why? We have Jesus…right? Well maybe we have Jesus, but we have put our hope in other things than in Him and Him ALONE. Politics, money and finances, family, church activities etc. have become the norm for the average Christian of where our energy…and ultimately our hope and joy are placed. It fascinates me that we carry around a book that we all cherish, and yet consistently make the same mistakes that families and nations described in the book have already made. And those mistakes have been recorded FOR US so that we could be spared from making them.
I had a talk with a young man the other day. I asked him why he has started to go to church. He said he wanted to increase his faith. Curious, I asked him why he wanted to increase his faith. He replied that he had done a lot of bad things in life and that he felt if he could get a little faith it would help him clean up his life so he could feel better about it. It’s hard to have real hope…real joy…when we are looking at the end result of good works as being to make us better, or feel better about ourselves.
Sadly, I believe that is what the Church has become lately. Looking for that “10 steps to a better…” fill in the blank. We treat our calling as if it were a weight loss program.
But “called” is what we are. We did not choose Him. He chose us…for a purpose. And His plans and purposes DO NOT FAIL. Oh how “Calvinistic” of me to state that. But it’s true. Our hope, our joy, is not in that we need to keep trying to please Him with all our might. No, our hope and joy is in that we WILL persevere ‘till the end…because He has deemed it so. Our hope and joy is that He chose us before the foundation of the world to be His bride for His Son. The Father’s love for the Son is displayed here. That is my part! I’m a gift from the Father to the Son! And even when I ruin and tarnish the love offering by my sin, the Son has sacrificed Himself to wash me and make me whole…so that He can present me back to the Father clean and pure. What great love the Son has for the Father!!!
THAT is where my hope is. THAT is where my joy is. Not politics. Not money. Not family. Not even rituals and deeds. My hope and joy are found in the love the Father has for the Son and the Son has for the Father. Their love “never fails”.
My hope and joy are found in a promise:
John 14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. – New American Standard Bible (NASB)
This is MY song of hope:
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”