Posted by: Harry Sasnowitz | December 30, 2015

“Where is our Hope” by Guest Blogger Charles Payton

WHERE IS OUR HOPE?

“And again Isaiah says,

There shall come the root of Jessie, and He who arises to rule over the gentiles, in Him shall the gentiles hope.” (Romans 15:12)

What is Hope? To some, hope may be wishful thinking such as, “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” To others, it includes the concept of reliance or trust. Titus 2:13 talks about the “blessed hope” (trust) Christians have in the appearing of the glory of Christ. For hope to be biblical, it must include longing or desire.

Desire is not often mentioned in discipleship. Dedication, discipline and determination are mentioned, but not desire.

When I was a child, families with young girls had “hope chests.” They were used to store clothes, linens, silver and other furnishings in anticipation of their daughter’s eventual marriage. They were well named. More than a piece of furniture, they were a symbol of an ever-present desire.

What are we living by? As Christians, we often study what we believe. Have we “studied” what we are living by? Christians are not called to live by concepts…. even biblical ones. According to 1 Peter 1:3, we are called to live by “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” But in “Protestant World” where I live, God and the Gospel can be viewed through the lens of concept instead of relationships. Christianity is a relationship. When answers are prized over intimacy, we miss the awe and wonder of intimacy with God and with the Body of Christ. Stripped of ever-present desire, our living hope becomes a piece of dead theological furniture. The first condition of discipleship is not knowledge, but intimacy.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire coming is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)

Hope deferred makes the church sick. So I pray for desire and for restoration of the living hope prophesied by Isaiah in our lives and in our churches.

To God be the glory!

Charles Payton resides in Fort Mill, SC. His counseling, teaching and discipleship ministry is a tremendous blessing to many, and I’m honored to have him as our guest blogger this month.

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