HOPE SPURS US TO SEEK EACH DAY WITH PASSION
22 Let us draw near to Godwith a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings,having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscienceand having our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:22-25
As we are drawing closer to the end of this week, my HOPE is that you have been encouraged to see each day with a new desire and passion for God. My HOPE is that we all have been able to take a step back and recognize the potential that we have to change the world one small or large step at a time. It all comes with having what the Hebrew authors writes as "unswerving faith". Now for me, it took me some time to think about what that really looked like and I am not saying that I have the best illustrations, but every time I hear this verse, it reminds me or literally playing a game of chicken as a child. Please note that I am not encouraging this, I am only trying to draw an image in our minds of this idea of unswerving faith. As the game of chicken goes, two people begin racing towards each other in hopes that the other person will "chicken" out and turn and there will be no collision. The first person to swerve loses. I remember playing this with my brother on bikes as a child and let me just say that we were both stubborn enough not to swerve and just to let you know that was a painful lesson to learn. BUT in our journey with God, we are looking at this as an example that through the HOPE of God, there is NOTHING that we can not face with God by our side. Whether times of chaos or uncertainty may arise, times of unrest and war, times of famine and drought, whatever the situation we may be facing, we hold to an unswerving faith that has HOPE in the POWER of God to lead us through each day.
So how can we live our lives in such a way that expresses unswerving hope you may ask? Well it all starts with our willingness to surrender and admit that we are in need of a Savior. The HOPE of the advent season is the reality that the world needed a Savior. Evil had reached a pinnacle point and God was ready to allow HOPE to burst into the world through the LIGHT of CHRIST. We have to be wiling to recognize that we cannot do it alone and that God never intended for us to be alone. Why do you think Eve was created in the first place? Because God realized that HIS creation was not meant to go through the struggles or joys of
this world alone. Why do you think that God had 2 of every animal come and take refuge in the Ark, because God knew that there is HOPE by having someone, person or animal, that is by your side to walk through life tighter. So today that is the real power in the meaning of the word HOPE today. HOPE is literally having a faith that can move mountains and one that wakes up every day looking for the mountain to move. Unswerving faith in hope allows us to know that we are going to struggle and we are going to face adversity but God is not going to make us walk through that valley or climb that mountain alone. An unswerving faith built on hope helps us to see beyond what is in front of our faces. It allows us to continue the journey not knowing what may lie ahead but we know that God is going to work all things for His glory.
In our scripture today, we should really be encouraged as we read the word's of the writer in Hebrews because we are reminded that we are never alone. In our times of uncertainty, God places people in our lives to spur us on if we are willing to remain faithful to the journey. As we talked about watchmen yesterday, today we are reminded of the importance of accountability to our personal faith and to help reach out to others in their time of need. We may never know how impactful the encounter may be with those who are desperate for hope. We may never fully realize the impact that our encouragement in faith may have to start a chain reaction to change the world. We have to be willing to step out in full assurance EVERY day that we serve a God that is faithful and just. Even when it seems as if darkness may be surrounding us and we feel as though we cannot take another step, we live in the hope that if we cannot walk, God will help us to crawl in the faith. In this hope that we have been given, we are able to draw deeper and closer into a heart relationship with God that allows us to feel HIS unfailing passion for us to succeed carrying the LIGHT of HOPE into the world. The Day that is approaching in verse 25 is the time in which God will return and all of His glory to reclaim His creation. And I don't know about you, but I live out my life hoping that I am doing all that I can to spur others on to receive this same connection with God that I have in my life. It's not an easy road, but once again we are not alone. Just like that game of chicken, our faith should lead us to step out and trust in a God that will not leave us or forsake us. If God has led us to this point in our lives... in our faith journey, may we have the unswerving faith to believe that it is for a reason and that He has prepared us to step into the lives of others and multiply that same hope and faith in their lives.
Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation for what is about to come into the world. My prayer is that we take these next 21 days and truly spur others on to grasp onto this idea of hope and live in such a way that we have unswerving faith. May we wake up, breathe in the coldness of the day and remind ourselves that we are alive and grasp each day with a
passion to change the world. It is not hard, but it may be an attitude adjustment for some of us. As one that continues to see God move in the lives of others and watch as true transformation occurs, I am encouraged to pay it forward and share that same passion with others. It does not matter if I am speaking in front of an audience of thousands or just an audience of one, my passion to speak of the unswerving faith and hope that lives in me should never be dampened by the uncertainty in this world. Remember, we live in anticipation EVERY day that God is going to provide for us an opportunity to share the HOPE of eternity with God to every person that we meet. It all starts by asking the simple question, "Do you have a passion to change the world?" Do YOU? If yes, then know that God has called us to live our faith in a way that people will be drawn to us because of our living testimonies for God. I know that it will be difficulty at first, but the more you draw closer to God, the easier it will be to tell your story and to share the HOPE that you have found in Him. Take the time today to simply send an encouraging scripture or word to someone you have talked to in a long time or someone that you know is in need of seeing the LIGHT of HOPE we carry in the name of Jesus. May this be our PASSION EVERY moment that we still have left in this world.