“At least I’m not going to hell.” I heard a friend of mine relay a conversation he had with another friend who was going through a period of intense suffering. He moved across the country for a new job and had to resign after a few months. His previous employers were calling potential future employers in attempts to dissuade anyone else from hiring him. His house was about to be foreclosed on. Some good friends also recently betrayed him in serious ways. Sometimes our current situation does not just withold our hopes, it dishes out burdens.
But in anything we face, as those who are fully at peace and accepted by our Creator, we will always have a hope. This hope is not anything anyone can take from us. The world that erodes can’t erode it. People who have hurt us cannot hurt it. Unstable economies cannot destabilize it.
Our hope is “with God” in 1 Peter 1:21. Our hope is set upon the “grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” in 1 Peter 1:13. Our hope is alive because of the “resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” in 1 Peter 1:3. We hold on to this hope because it is God who is “promised” and is “faithful” in Hebrews 10:23 and it resides with Him, who “never lies, promised before the ages began” in Titus 1:2. This hope is not tied to our daily obedience but to our Father “who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace” in 2 Thessalonians 2:16.
Having an eternal hope doesn’t remove us from our present situations, be they good or bad. The hope found in the gospel drives us back to our daily lives, knowing that nothing has the power to ultimately shake us or destroy us. We are bound for the promised land and that gives strength for the wilderness.
While in one of these horrible times myself, I came across a hymn written by Thomas Haweis in 1791. It places our hope in its proper place: God’s domain. I so easily seek to find my hope in other places and need to constantly be brought back to reality. I recorded a new version of this song that you can listen to and download below. Hopefully it will be helpful on your journey towards our blessed hope.
O Thou from whom all goodness flows
I lift my soul to Thee
In all my sorrows, conflicts, woes
Good Lord, remember me
When on my groaning, burdened heart
My sins lie heavily
My pardon speak, new peace imparts
In love remember me
When trials sore obstruct my way
And ills I cannot flee
Oh, give me strength, Lord, as my day
For good remember me
Distressed with pain, disease and grief
This feeble body see
Grant patience, rest and kind relief
Hear and remember me
If on my face for Thy dear name
Shame and reproaches be
All hail reproach and welcome shame
If Thou remember me
The hour is near, consigned to death
I own the just decree
Savior with my last parting breath
I’ll cry, remember me
This was also posted on orlandograce.org.