Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Keeping Hope Alive"

Romans 15.4 NASB

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Our existence depends on hope... hope for a future filled with fun, love, and adventure, peace and security. We possess an incredible capacity for patience in difficult situations as long as hope is alive. But when the flame dims and hope is extinguished, it’s all over. We engage in a process of slow death grasping at habit-forming addictive behavior patterns and their false promise of a life with meaning. We want truth that “will set you free” (John 8.32). Instead, we settle for a 'B.T.N.' (better than nothing), lesser truth. It’s counterfeit truth, but it’s all we have. Our bad situations turn worse and misguided actions escalate in our desperate search for hope.

Many 9 to 5-er’s live for the weekend in hope of filling the space of 48 hours with enough television, recreation, sex, food, sleep, and alcohol to sustain them for another 5 days of drudgery at meaningless jobs. The overachiever falls into exactly the same trap. As a 'successful professional', he gropes for significance and he trades his family and faith for a career promising status, peer approval, and the finer things only high salaries can provide. But hope is not a commodity. It cannot be bought even with hyper-dedication toward a temporal goal. 

Hope begins at a particular point… the point of truth. It’s more than theological truth. It’s the truth about you… your calling, your important responsibilities, your God-given design, purpose, and dreams, your right standing before God. You must be clear, very clear on the truth about you. Get to know and appreciate this truth. Don’t sell out for a lesser truth or another person’s truth. Find your own truth. Keep searching until you peel away every layer of false hope and find the real, naked, and unencumbered you. Jesus will meet you there. He’ll take you by the hand and show you the worlds you must conquer. He’ll reveal your original destiny. He’ll impart a single-minded focus-ability empowering you to drive with all your might “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”, (Philippians 3.14). This is your truth and it’s the only place to find lasting hope. This is the hope worth living for because it’s based on a truth worth dying for. 

This is 423 Men... the journey of self-discovery in the search for hope. Once you get this hope, never lose it. Keep hope alive...

“...through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures”.
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The image of the child looking through the curtains is called "3\365 a new hOpe" and used here by permission of an artist from Kuwait by the name "Anwaar. 

The portrait "Hope" is by photographer Ferran Jordà of Queralbs, Catalonia, Spain. Ferran gave me permission to post this beautifully expressive photo here.

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