Glorious Hope

Tuesday, March 26, 2013  ::  

The latest step of my health journey coupled with Chad teaching God's word through Peter has turned my heart and thoughts towards hope. I love his teaching style, verse by verse, context, culture, application. Every week I am challenged, encouraged, and inspired...and not just because I'm his wife.

Hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation, a strong and confident expectation

In our world we sometimes minimize the depth of hope by putting our desires and expectations in people or situations that have not proved unwaveringly faithful. We hope our teams will win. We hope our boss gives us the promotion. We hope our friends remember our stories. It isn't wrong to hope for any of these, but sometimes we can be left disappointed at best and disillusioned at worst. 

As we've journeyed through Peter I've been challenged and reminded of a few things.  

1 Peter 3:15 
But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that you have but do this with gentleness and respect. 

We often look at these words and focus on the "always be prepared." But I'm pondering and pointing out that the verse implies that we will be asked! If we are living with hope, with a strong and confident expectation that Jesus saved us, we will live in such a way that people will notice and will ask us about it.

I wonder if the strategy for "lifestyle evangelism" originated with this verse. Unfortunately, many people skip over the fact that we have to actually open our mouths for people to know our lifestyle represents Jesus. I know quite a few "good" people. What makes you/me different from them?
Only Jesus. My hope is in Him.

1 Peter 4:1 
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 

The hope Christ offered through His suffering allowing me to live for His will and not my own human passions overwhelms me. With and through Jesus I can arm myself with the helmet of the hope of salvation. My head is covered in His pure and unfailing hope! The freedom of knowing I do not have to live bound in selfishness, envy, bitterness, deceit, or malice astounds me. This reality is a tremendous gift of hope!

Which brings me back to a drive to continue to offer hope to the people God brings into my life.

For the last eight Good Friday nights, my friends and I have taken gifts to dancers in men's clubs.  We've heard many stories from the women over the years. Some are there by choice. Some aren't. Some love what they do. Some don't. A few reject our gifts. Many don't.

With my mind swimming with thoughts of hope I've been remembering the name of this ministry: Cord of Hope. My good friend Tia was studying a bible passage and felt strongly about offering these women a rope, a strand, a cord, something to hold on to, something to see with their own eyes. The metaphor of a cord offered to people rejects the idea of manipulation. We don't offer a trap or a trick, but a simple cord/rope of hope through beautiful gifts, hugs, and conversation.

I've stated this truth before, and I don't want to miss the opportunity to share it again. Our objective simply to share Jesus with the women in a loving, beautiful way. Our hope is to love them. Our hope is to look in their eyes and listen to their stories. Our hope is they know they are valued. Our hope is they see Jesus in a way they may have never experienced before. We don't speak to them about changing their lifestyle, leaving the business, or any such topic. We believe wholeheartedly that if they choose to follow Jesus, He is the One that works out the nuances of their lives, not me or my friends. Only Jesus.

On this week of Easter, as I look to the journey Christ took in obedience to His Father, as I am overwhelmed with gratitude for His death on the cross, as I'm filled with tears and awe at the thought of His resurrection, my heart is filled with deep, echoing, thunderous HOPE.

Jesus be praised and lifted high! May our lives reflect this glorious hope! 

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.

Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong, in the Savior's love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all 

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne.

1 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Dear Angel,
Your blogs, writings, etc., are so Awesome!! You are such an Awesome and Most Inspiring Person and I genuinely admire you and your blog writings of our Lords and Savior, Jesus Christ. You restore Faith, Hope, Love, in me each and everytime I read from your text. What a Great job you are doing ministering the Lords word..
Vicki P

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