Hope for Western Christian Families

Hope for Western Christian Families

Let me just start by asking, where does your HOPE come from?  There seems to be a lot of hopelessness swirling about us these days especially as everywhere we look we seem to find more bad news and more despair.  So where can we turn to find HOPE in what seems to be a hopeless situation all around us? 

So let’s pretend we are in school again, and I am going to ask you a few trivia questions.  First, what is the longest chapter in the Bible?  If you said Psalm 119, you are correct!!  It has a total of 176 verses.  If I could see you face to face right now, I would give you a Jolly Rancher like I used to do when I was a teacher in the classroomJ!!  So enjoy a “virtual” Jolly Rancher on meJ!  So question #2 is similar but the opposite, namely, what is the shortest chapter in the Bible?  If you said Psalm 117, you are correct!!  It has a total of 2 verses.  Do you know that the exact middle chapter of the Bible is Psalm 118—There are 594 chapters before it and 594 chapters after it.  I used to be a math teacher, so let me do a little math with you.  If you add 594+594, you get 1188.  Do you know that Psalm 118:8 is the exact middle verse of the Bible!  Let me share it with you here as it says, “It is better to put your HOPE in the Lord than to put your hope in man.” 

WOW!!  I don’t think this is by accident that this is the exact middle verse of the entire Bible.  The word HOPE in Psalm 118:8 can be translated as CONFIDENCE.  The message is loud and clear in that it is by far preferable to put your confidence in God instead of in man.  King David said it well in Psalm 27:13-14, “I would have DESPAIRED unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.  Yes, wait for the Lord!”

The FOUNDATION we have in Christ can NEVER be shaken.  You see this in not a HOPE that the world has.  The hope we have in Christ as His followers, though, is unshakable!!  Nothing can separate us from His love, not even death.  This is the only solid hope upon which our lives can fully rest.  As the old hymn says, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

Upon the death of his friend Lazarus, Jesus states boldly in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me, though he may die, yet he shall live.”  So today, my dear friends, put your HOPE in Him alone, for everything else is temporary and will one day fade away.  Jesus made it very clear when He stated in John 16:33, “In this world you will have many troubles, but take courage for I have overcome the world.”  Let this be our hope and our song because it is the only secure thing that we can cling to in a world that is changing around us by the moment.  I encourage you to lead your family in clinging to Christ today for He alone is our rock and our unshakable foundation that nothing can take away!!  Amen!

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