Monday, December 7, 2015

Anchors of Hope in the Storms of Life

UV 1607-10000 Anchors of Hope in the Storms of Life
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Romans 12 v 12
What causes us to rejoice is not our pleasant circumstances or our attainments or our possessions but our hope in Christ for Christ in us is the hope of salvation. Salvation is the most fundamental need of every human being for the satisfaction ability of other needs like food, clothing and shelter are very transient and the eternal need of every human being is the desire to live forever. We will one day outlive or die to our need for food, clothing, shelter, fame, power, position, pleasure but we will not outlive our need for salvation. Our hope in the name of Jesus is enough to satisfy this need for His name alone means salvation or “ He saves” and His name guarantees our hope of salvation. Our hope is also in the promises of God contained in scripture. This uni-verse says that we should always hold on to this hope that His promises are true and will be fulfilled and rejoice in it always. When we believe in Jesus and His promise of eternal life, we receive the Christ or the anointing of the Holy Spirit on our souls and our total being. Scripture makes a fine distinction between “inherit the promise”, “obtain the promise” and “receive the promise”. We inherit the promise when we believe. We obtain the promise when we endure or our faith endures. We receive the promise in eternity. Our hope is not that our lot in this world will improve. It is not in the princes of the day or the people with titles of this age.

Our faith will be tested by trials and tribulations. During these periods, we should be patient and our faith should outlast or endure these troubles, however severe or painful it might be. Hope is the anchor in the storms of life. The storms will not last forever but for a season, a time and for a purpose- the greater glory of God and for our good. A storm rightly faced will produce inner strength. The Lord promises we will have victory in the end and that we will not be tested beyond our strength. We should wait with patient expectation that the Lord will help us during these difficult times. Our patience will be reflected in our spirit of thanksgiving and steadfast attitude that the Lord will deliver us in His time. We should not try to hasten or advance the clock or calendar of the Lord’s timing. We strengthen ourselves in the peace and grace that the Lord offers us. We also rejoice as we have taken part in a small way in the sufferings of Christ. Like Him we too will have our moment of resurrection. Scripture explains the process in this sequence: sufferings produce the patience of Jesus in us, the patience produces the lessons of experience or in other words wisdom and the wisdom produces hope again for the next big trial or tribulation. Three models of patience are given in scripture- the patience of Jesus, the patience of Job and the patience of the farmer waiting for the harvest.

Our joy, hope, faith and patience are reflected in our habit of continually praying, thanking and praising the Lord. We strengthen ourselves with the joy of the Lord by delighting in His Word. The Word is the calcium that strengthen the bones or framework of our faith. The fulfilment of the promises and obedience to His commands, precepts and examples, the heeding of His warnings and admonitions are the marrow of the bones of our faith. We find our joy in His presence. We will be comforted on all sides or in 360 degrees, 365 days. Instant prayer is not like instant milk or instant coffee. We are not disappointed if we do not get an immediate answer for that is the hope of the hypocrite. It means we pray at all times or at every instant and wait patiently for an answer from the Lord. It might come in wise counsel or a word of wisdom from the Lord about what we ought to do or a change in circumstances like the storm coming to an end. We need to hear the Word, keep the Word in our hearts or closest to us and bear fruit with patience. We need to pray persistently and wait patiently. We should be confident the Lord hears the cry of our souls. We should have the personal knowledge of the patriarchs of faith who by experience learnt the character of God that He is trustworthy at all times. We should know that He will provide our daily BREAD or Blessings Required to Enable/Empower/Equip and Deliver. He has taken away the burden for us to perform or earn or deserve and given us BREAD by grace in Jesus. Every day we must hold onto Jesus like Jacob held on to the angel till He gives us BREAD.

Prateep V Philip

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