“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Hope is essential in the life of the believer. Hope is crucial to a life of faith. There are a couple of things though, that I think we need to ask ourselves:
What are we hoping in?
What do we base our hope on?
Are we hoping in God, or are we hoping on our perception of God? Are we hoping in the God of the Scriptures, or are we hoping on the God we’ve created in our minds; the God who looks a lot like us? So many times I hear people say things like, “I would never do that so God would never do that either.” Or, “I’m a mother and I could never imagine a loving father doing that to His children.”
First, you aren’t God. You can’t even fathom what it is to be God. Sure, being created in God’s image, there are things about us that are ‘like’ God, but that is a far cry from saying that God is ‘like’ us. God is so far above us, His ways are so far above us, His holiness is so far above us, that we can’t even wrap our minds around it. Why would you want a God that does everything exactly like you would do it? I look around at my life, and the mess I’ve made of a lot of things, and I am ever so grateful that God does not do things the way that I do things.
Second, our hope is to be based on the all knowing wisdom of God, not on our perception of God. We must base our hope on the God we read about in the Scriptures, not the God of our own making. It seems to me most people’s perception of God is dominated by their own emotions or sentimentality as opposed to the God my Bible talks about. Sure God is loving, sure God is gracious, sure God desires good things for His children…but none of these things are outside of his attribute of holiness. And by the way, who does the Bible say are actually children of God? See John 1:12-13, it may surprise you.
Search the Scriptures, learn the Scriptures, know the Scriptures. That is the God we are to serve and love and hope in. Some of us have formed a beautiful picture in our mind of a God that we love, and that loves us…but is a far cry, and far less beautiful than the God of the Bible. This God won’t always make you feel warm and fuzzy, sometimes he’ll shock you, but the most shocking thing of all is his love for his children(Again, see John 1:12-13) in spite of ourselves, and the lavishness of the Glory he promises them, all ultimately leading to his own glory.
The little god in your mind can’t save you. First of all he doesn’t exist. Even if he did, why would you want an eternity with a weak God who is bound by those whom he created. Why would you want a weak God who can’t, or doesn’t want to punish sin and just looks past it? Would you want your government or police force to act this way? If not, then why would you want God to?
Run to the Scriptures…Seek that God. That is the only God that can save you. He is the only God worth being saved by. He is the God that Jesus talked about and pointed us to. He is the only God worthy of our worship.
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”