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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hope: When do I keep fighting and when do I rest content?

Resurrection Sunday is drawing nigh. At SCC we'll be presenting the case for why the resurrection from the dead of a man named Jesus is the most defensible, possible and even plausible miracle in the Bible and worthy of one's belief. Please pray the Spirit begins working in the hearts and minds of those who attend (and whom you invite) even now to help them see for the first time to the truth and worth of this resurrected Savior. 

The resurrection from the dead is not only a Christian's but, deep down, any person's ultimate hope - that there is not only life beyond this life, but that life and even that physical body will be far more glorious than the present life and body which is subject to decay and whose end is death (Philippians 3:20-21). 

Equally, Jesus' resurrection from the dead gives us hope for the present life. It means Jesus is who he says He is - both God of the universe and our lives and the mediator between God the Father and mankind. 

So whenever I think of Easter I think of hope, which includes hope in God for the present to do big things in His church and through His will for me and my family. The apostle Paul expressed it this way in the midst of one of his most daunting trials: 

For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again (II Corinthians 2:8-10)

Paul's internal calling & external circumstances provided a perfect place from which to ask one of the key real-life question pertaining to Hope: When do we keep hoping and fighting within a calling, for a dream, toward a goal and when do we rest content with circumstances look very much like God's settled will?

In his Nehemiah Notes, former pastor & experienced-bloke-who-has-walked-on-the-road-with-God Blaine Smith writes a very wise, insightful article on this question that's worth a read: CLICK HERE.

[Disclaimer: I do have a couple of small quibbles with the article. (1) Namely, I wish there was an explanatory section on the role of the Holy Spirit using His Word to shape, mold and form God-centered dreams and goals; (2) The frequent use of the word "potential." God absolutely has a full potential in mind for each of us in Jesus Christ and conforming us into His image (Rom 8:29). That word is so closely associated, however, with many self-help books and "Christian TV programs" which are actually quite man-centered. Overall, however, these quibbles don't outweigh the positives - the article is chalked full of wisdom and application from God's Word]

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