What Does My Hope Look Like?

Posted on December 21, 2011

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source: http://itsyourslord.tumblr.com/post/7437474625

I’ve been reading through John Piper’s book, “Don’t Waste Your Life.” I’m about half way through, and it’s been a good challenge so far. He has some good perspective on how we should approach God and people in our lives. Life, as Piper lays out, boils down to joyfully displaying God, in the supreme glory He deserves. That is, our delight in Him and our glorifying Him join together and result in a life marked by God’s will, His fruits, and His exaltation. The book aims at making this whole idea a practical reality. It’s good stuff, I’d recommend it. But, anyways, as I was reading through the book, one part really stuck out to me. The title of this section is: “Why Don’t People Ask Us About Our Hope?” Good question.

First Peter 3:15 says: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Now, there’s two things we can do with this. The first is something that I grew up with in the church. That is, “Learn your scripture and know how to defend your faith!,” or something along those lines. Which I think  is a proper response to this passage, but not the whole response, as Piper points out.  The other response is this: We have to live in accordance of the one true hope, namely Christ. As I scour through my life, about where I’ve been and what I’ve done, I have to wonder if my life is a reflection of hope. Does my life really resemble ALL that I have in Christ? Have I secured myself in God’s promises and the model Christ laid out for me? I know for a fact, I have compromised my hope in Christ too many times to count and have settled for counterfeit, temporary “hope.” But, Peter says that people should be asking us about our hope in Christ as if it were a lifestyle, or our treasure. What kind of hope do our lifestyles reflect? Materialistic things make it all to easy to smother God’s power. For example, the pursuit of money for riches sake, is an undermining of God’s provision. Or, the reliance on earthly relationships for one’s deepest needs (emotional or physical), is to forsake the relationship God offers and desires with us. Or, emphasizing the importance of any created thing over the Creator, is to disrupt the whole design of God’s creation. And so on. The areas where we emphasize importance, trust, and value is where our hope is expressed and made tangible. So, where does our hope lie? What does it look like?

Ultimately, our hope should be enamored and marked by the work of Christ in us (1 Peter 1:3; Hebrews 10:19-25). That hope should make it’s ways into the most finite cracks of our lives and govern things like finances, charity, time, morals, character, and relationships. We have to submit these to Christ and allow Him room to work in those areas. And, as these areas become succumbed to our hope in Christ and become molded to Him, we testify about God’s greatness and relay His provision, ownership, and power in our lives. We have to follow the first part 1 Peter 3:15, and actually declare that Christ is Lord in those areas and of our whole life.

If, as Christians, we fail to defy the rewards, comforts, and routines of this world, we will have a dual-hope, which won’t cause people to ask us about the One True Hope.  We must understand that our citizenship and reward is in heaven and is handed to us from God himself. Our hope lies in the fact that one day we will be united with God to receive this through the precious atonement of Christ (Romans 8:22-25). Our hope is that everything that we have in Christ is worth far more than anything this world has to offer.

Let us examine our hope and let us not be swayed to hope in nothing less than Jesus Christ and His work in our lives. And let Christ be the one determinant, our compass gauge and final destination, as we navigate through the unpredictable paths of life.

(Once again, a lot of this comes from Piper, this post is just me processing through it… let me know if you have any thoughts about it!)

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