Hoping Versus Knowing

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

A young girl finishes swim practice at 8:00 p.m. on a dark, winter’s night. Standing in front of the swim club building, she waits for her father who has promised to pick her up by 8:15. By the time all other parents, children, and cars have departed, she stands alone, still waiting. An hour later, she sees her father’s car approaching. After explaining he had to change a flat tire, she says, “That’s okay; I knew you’d come.”

That young girl waited without wavering. There is a difference between waiting while hoping a promise will be kept and waiting while knowing a promise will be kept. Waiting while knowing leads to waiting without wavering. A child learns by experience that a parent is trustworthy. And Christians learn about God’s faithfulness the same way. The difference is thousands of years of experience versus a few years. The Bible is a record of God’s faithfulness to His people over millennia.

If you are waiting on God, wait without wavering. He is never late; He always keeps His promises; He is always true to His Word.

The promises of God are nothing more than God’s covenant to be faithful to His people. It is His character that makes these promises valid. Jerry Bridges

A Real Enemy

1 Peter 5:8-10

Let’s play a little game. Imagine that you’re a soldier during wartime. You’ve made it through basic training, mastered the weapons of war, memorized all the relevant warfare strategies, and are heading to battle.

You’ve seen the war in news headlines. Friends of yours have already been deployed. And now that you’re on the front lines, you witness explosions and desolation all around you. Without a doubt, you know that there is an enemy out to destroy you.

Now, imagine a fellow soldier coming to you and saying, “I really don’t believe there’s an enemy out there. I think it’s a myth, or maybe just a metaphor for evil. It isn’t real.”

How ridiculous! Right there in the midst of combat, with fallen comrades and used ammunition littering the battlefield, how could an intelligent person ever fail to acknowledge the presence of the enemy? It is unthinkable.

And yet, this exact situation is taking place in churches all around the world. Despite the evidence of war and regardless of the overtly personal and custom-made nature of the attacks, an astounding number of Christians simply do not believe in the existence of Satan. This is a tragic mistake.

My friend, there is a very real enemy stalking you right now, waiting for the opportunity to destroy you completely. If you want to grow and experience maturity in the Christian life, then you must take this battle seriously.

Are you prepared today? Put on your spiritual armor, and follow the Lord into battle. He’ll be by your side.

God the Owner

“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1)

In communist countries, “the people” own the lands, while in capitalist countries, individuals may own “private property.” Both are myths unless these are viewed as a stewardship from God. We don’t really own anything, “for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7).

In the mineral kingdom, the most important substances are the precious metals upon which monetary standards are based, yet God makes it clear that all “the silver is mine, and the gold is mine” (Haggai 2:8). The greatest members of the plant kingdom are the mighty trees of the forest, and God reminds us that “the trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted” (Psalm 104:16). All the birds and beasts in the animal kingdom are His also. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10).

Again and again God reminds us that “all the earth is mine” (Exodus 19:5), and even the infinite heavens belong to Him. “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (Deuteronomy 10:14).

God has, indeed, given man “dominion . . . over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26), and Satan has, indeed, laid false claim to “all the kingdoms of the world” (Luke 4:5-6), but the fact remains that “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Daniel 4:32).

Most of all, every Christian should understand that he and all he has belong to God, by both creation and blood-bought redemption. “Ye are not your own. . . . For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). HMM

A Solid Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. —1 Peter 1:3

Brethren, we have been born of God and our Christian hope is a valid hope! No emptiness, no vanity, no dreams that cannot come true. Your expectation should rise and you should challenge God and begin to dream high dreams of faith and spiritual attainment and expect God to meet them. You cannot out-hope God and you cannot out-expect God. Remember that all of your hopes are finite, but all of God’s ability is infinite!

Now, brethren, what is it that makes our Christian hope a living hope and gives it reality and substance for the future?

The answer is clear and plain—the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is God’s gracious guarantee of our blessed future.

I dare to say this to you, my friends—your Christian hope is just as good as Jesus Christ. Your
anticipation for the future lives or dies with Jesus. If He is who He said He was, you can spread your wings and soar. If He is not, you will fall to the ground like a lump of lead. Jesus Christ is our hope and God has raised Him from the dead and since Jesus overcame the grave, Christians dare to die.

Thank You, Father, that my hope is not a vain hope but rather hope in Jesus Christ. What a sure hope! Amen.

Empty Promises of Man

For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

We have listened throughout our lifetime to the continuing promises of peace and progress made by the educators and the legislators and the scientists, but so far they have failed to make good on any of them.

Perhaps it is an ironic thought that fallen men, though they cannot fulfill their promises, are always able to make good on their threats!

Well, true peace is a gift of God and today it is found only in the minds of innocent children and in the hearts of trustful Christian believers. Only Jesus could say: “My peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid!”

Surely the “great” of this world have underestimated the wisdom of the Christian, after all. When the Day of The Lord comes, he may stand like Abraham above the burning plain and watch the smoke rising from the cities that forgot God. The Christian will steal a quick look at Calvary and know that this judgment is past!

Learn to comfort thyself in God’s gracious dealing toward the church

Christian man! learn to comfort thyself in God’s gracious dealing toward the church. That which is
so dear to thy Master, should it not be dear above all else to thee? What though thy way be dark, canst thou not gladden thine heart with the triumphs of his cross and the spread of his truth? Our own personal troubles are forgotten while we look, not only upon what God has done, and is doing for Zion, but on the glorious things he will yet do for his church. Try this receipt, O believer, whenever thou art sad of heart and in heaviness of spirit: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” and thine own soul shall be refreshed.