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Welcome to the show, folks. We’ve been talking recently about the concept of love, and it’s one of many words today that is misused and tossed around out of context until its meaning is unrecognizable. Another term that is often misrepresented is the word, hope. If we listen carefully – with discerning ears – to those who spread this word on really thick in the political arena, we notice it being used to appeal to people who have lost a sense of hope. But in this arena, when uttered in an attempt to win votes or sell you an idea, the word is bereft of any real meaning. It is spoken in vain, devoid of worth, empty.
When hope is rendered in such a way, it becomes nothing more than fluffy terminology – something that sounds good but, in the end, means nothing. This has often been the result of political figures using the term for their own purposes, in empty campaign slogans, and to promise things they never intend to follow through on. Problem is, too many people fall prey to this. Too many people consider their source of hope to be the government. “If we can just elect these people into office, they’ll solve all our problems.” This is how governments get so big and intrusive and powerful and oppressive – people lose real hope and begin to place all their trust in government to save them.
Today, we will deal with this topic and remind ourselves that our true source of hope is not a politician or a government program – no, the hope we have is found in Jesus. And our trust is in the Lord. I’m Stace Massengill, and this is the Kingdom Hero Blogcast…
– Show Intro –
I’m sure you remember in 2016 when Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election to Donald Trump. Forget all the party-line political aspects to this, I’m just talking about the reactions of people reliant upon leaders in government to save them and make their lives better. Remember all the downcast faces of the Hillary supporters who were utterly devastated that she had lost? They were crying, screaming, and acting as if their entire world had just come to a tragic end. They were fearful – mainly due to the lies they were fed my the media – that Trump would destroy all of accomplishments of former President Obama, and that the country was doomed.
And even though the world didn’t end, and Trump actually got us out of wars and bad trade deals, he definitely took the country in a different direction – and that still made people on the left think he was the wrong person for the job. Regardless of any good that he did – which the media refused to speak of – people were unhappy that he was making government less intrusive. Many folks would rather be dependent upon government than to take responsibility for themselves. That’s just a fact. But now let’s flip the script, because it’s not just those on the left who tend to put way too much faith in people in power.
Since Trump has left the Oval Office, and Biden has assumed the role of POTUS, we cannot deny that there are plenty of people on the right who have appeared to lose hope. No, we don’t see all the ridiculous crying and screaming that we saw from Hillary’s supporters 4 years ago, but there are those who were supporting Trump that seem almost as devastated that he’s no longer in office. And most of these are afraid that Biden is going to undo all the good Trump accomplished, as he’s already made strides to undo some of it.
What we’re talking about here is misplaced hope. Too many of us tend to invest an unhealthy amount of faith in man – who is flawed – rather than in God – who is completely incorruptible. Yeah, Trump did an incredible amount of good – despite the constant opposition from his many enemies – and we were hopeful that he would remain office another 4 years and do even more. But is it possible that some of us forgot that our hope is not in man? A lot of the posts I’ve seen from folks would seem to indicate that they think our nation is doomed now that Biden is in office. But wait a minute, isn’t God still on the throne?
The truth is that we, as long-standing citizens of the most FREE nation on the planet, have such a narrow view of what real oppression is like. We are spoiled as Americans, having been born into all these amazing rights and liberties, and we take most of them for granted. We don’t know what it’s like in this country – yet anyway – to be rounded up and executed for our faith. We don’t understand the concept of persecution like many in other parts of the world. We’ve become so spoiled by our freedoms, in fact, that we feel entitled to them and even more. And all a politician has to do is promise you something else that you think you deserve and ought to have, and we grow even more dependent upon them. They become our source of hope, and we become less and less free.
Taking on a worldly view, we can fool ourselves into thinking that we are independent. But it’s not that we’re truly independent because we become dependent on this government program and that government bail-out and government subsidies and government-run healthcare and so on. So what is it that we think we’re independent from in this worldly view of things? God. That is the tragedy of mankind’s modern arrogance – that he thinks he no longer needs God. “I can just rely on this government benefit. I deserve it anyway. I’m entitled to it.” But little to no thought is given to what happens when that government you’ve put all your hope into decides that you’re not essential to its purposes and cuts you off.
Hey, don’t tell me that can’t happen. Were you paying ANY attention in 2020? Here was this virus with a 99+% survival rate, which was used as a political tool to undermine the greatest economy we’ve ever seen. Despite the incredibly high survival rate, it was hyped up and used to cause widespread panic, and our own government committed serious oversteps of its power. Mandates, lockdowns, and useless restrictions were put into place – supposedly for our own good. But those restrictions caused countless businesses to lose revenue and ultimately close down. If you weren’t deemed as essential, you were simply our of luck. I know this first-hand because I lost my job during this time when the company I worked for was forced to shut down permanently.
We saw in the last year just how easily this kind of thing can and did happen. And you’d better believe it still can and will happen again. So do you really want to put all your hope into a government run by flawed and corruptible men and women? Do you really think that they have your best interest in mind? Or wouldn’t you rather place your trust and dependence on the God who created you and truly does have your best interest in mind? The God who formed you in the womb with a plan and purpose for your life? The God who redeemed us to Himself through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, so that we could have REAL HOPE for eternal life? No politician – of any party – can ever offer you that.
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Scripture has a lot to say about hope. In the book of Psalms, David asks himself this question:
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
~ Psalms 42:5, 42:11, 43:5 [ESV]
Again, how downcast do we allow ourselves to become when our candidate doesn’t come out on top? Yes, whether we think the election was legitimate or rigged. Where is our hope? In the man? In the election process? In the powers of our government? Or are we hopeful in God, who cannot be ousted from His rightful place in heaven?
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
~ Romans 5:2 [ESV]
This passage tells us that it is through Jesus that we have been given access to grace, and it is this grace that sustains us – not a government program or subsidy. God is our provider, not some politician. And we should be rejoicing in the hope we have in Him, rather than being all negative and acting like we’re all in big trouble now that so-and-so is president. How short-sighted is that thinking?! And how pitiful if our hope is based on who’s in office rather than on He who is on the throne of glory.
Do we really have to remind ourselves of where our hope lies? Time and time again, we can find ourselves acting like we’ve forgotten this most basic of biblical lessons. When we lose a battle or our plans somehow fail, we revert to our carnal nature of doubt and hopelessness. For Christians, that should never be. But when it does, we need to remember these truths.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever…
Psalm 146:4-6 [ESV]
See, eventually we all die and return to the ground from which we were made. Whatever plans we may have had for the future will fall by the wayside, but God’s plans always see fruition. When our hope is in the Lord our God who made everything – including us – His blessings on us are assured, both during and after this life. Our faith can endure in spite of all circumstance if our hope is in Him. If bound to this life and the corruptible things within it, hope will fail us. But that doesn’t happen when our hope is in the eternal.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Titus 2:11-14 [ESV]
So this scripture says that God has given us His grace – the grace to live this life in a righteous manner despite the ungodliness around us – and He brought the gift of salvation for all people. This is to be our hope. Not material things. Not any of the ungodly or worldly desires of the flesh. Instead, we are to renounce such things, living our lives in obedience to God and in waiting for our “blessed hope” to appear. What is that? The promise of glory, the return of Christ, and the deliverance from this life into one that is eternal. In light of this, our hope is in Him, and we ought to have great zeal to do good works in His name.
Furthermore, we should realize that any hope in things of this world is a fading or passing hope because this world is passing away. That is a dead hope, which is really no hope at all. In a world that denies God, the belief is that after this life is over, we’re done. That’s it. We just cease to exist. Our hope is not a dead one, but a living one, with faith that we will live forever with the Lord.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…
1 Peter 1:3-4 [ESV]
Again, we see that OUR HOPE is grounded in the gift of salvation through Jesus and the promise of everlasting life. Because of what Christ did for us, we hold on to a living hope – and we have an inheritance that will not perish, cannot be defiled or corrupted or plundered, and will never fade away. Our hope is not merely in this life, but also in the one to come. And it is Jesus Himself who is our ever-present, living, and eternal hope.
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This is why, as believers, we should stand out from other people in the world. He have a hope that can’t be squashed. You can hope for a better job, a better car, a nicer house, or for a certain person to be elected to an office. But when that thing you hope for doesn’t happen, you can end up losing all hope if you’re not careful. Your ultimate hope can’t simply rest on the things of this life or on a human being who can fail you. That’s a recipe for a miserable existence. You’d better get used to disappointment if that’s your idea of hope.
But no, we should be different. As Christians, the world should look at us and go, “Why are they always so hopeful? How on earth are they smiling and happy? What is it that keeps them in such a good mood even when things are going bad?” Because your positive witness to them will lead them to say, “I want whatever it is that they have.” And then, we can introduce them to Jesus – our everlasting source of hope.
And when the opportunity to witness comes, we need to be ready. They’re gonna have doubts. They’re gonna have questions. They’re gonna need to hear from your experiences that there is real hope in Christ. And God’s Word tells us to always be ready to give reason for the hope we have.
…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…
1 Peter 3:15 [ESV]
When offering our reasons for this hope in Christ, the manner in which we speak to the non-believer is crucial. We can’t just say, “Well, I’m a Christian, so I have real hope.” Where’s the explanation in that? Where’s the God-like love and compassion? No, our witness needs to be genuine, personal, and have real-world application to the life of the one we’re sharing Jesus with. More like, “Well, this is where I was when I found a better way. This is how beginning a relationship with Jesus changed my life. This is the hope I have and why I have it. This is how God made Himself real to me. And this is something you can have, too.” And fill in the blanks there with your own personal story of how the Savior gave you a hope that endures every circumstance.
We live in a world that seems to be without hope. It’s a world that too often puts its trust in corruptible things and people. Sometimes, we ourselves fall into this carnal trap. But there IS hope. And this hope is for all mankind. Christ came to make things new, to save the lost, and to redeem us to the Father. And the hope He gives us isn’t merely for this life.
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15:19 [ESV]
Indeed, the hope we have is not rooted in the temporary things of this world, but in the eternal things of the life to come. We have the hope of salvation, yes, but it’s also a hope of everlasting life – a hope that there’s so much more to our existence than what this life has to offer. There is a life to come that will last forever, where everything will be renewed, and where we’ll have new and glorified bodies that will never succumb to disease or death. THIS is the hope we have. And it is available to everyone who would believe in Jesus, accept His gifts of salvation and eternal life, and follow in His ways. And unlike most campaign promises, God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen.”
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