Remember the words to the hymn, The Solid Rock?
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ Name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand: All other ground is sinking sand.
What is your hope based upon?
Tucked inside my Bible is a sermon preached on July 2, 1780, by a chaplain in Washington’s Continental Army. Some 241 years later, the exhortation in this sermon spoke hope into my heart, as I pray it does to yours. I’d like to share it with you.
“OUR HOPE IS JESUS CHRIST!
Titus 2:13 – Looking for God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 1:1 – Our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ which is our hope.
My brethren, I shall with the help of God, explain how our hope is “Jesus Christ.” Firstly, we may think that we have cause to abandon hope because of the situations in which we find ourselves. But we only despair when we take our eyes off of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 42:11 – Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance and my God.
Our times are indeed difficult. We know not what the day may bring forth. All things appear to be falling apart. Yet, through these things God changes not.
James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Secondly, if these words of hope are strange to you, you may not know the Giver of these words, Jesus Christ. He has paid the penalty for sin so that we may have fellowship with God. We must believe in Him and His sacrifice as the only way to have that fellowship and peace with God and hope of eternal life. (John 3:16; John 3:36; Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9)
John 6:47 – He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Titus 1:2 – In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot life, promised before the world began.
Thirdly, hope is not Statesmen, Armies or Allies. Our hope can only be “Jesus Christ.”
1 Timothy 1:1 – Our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope.
True hope is founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the life we have through Him. That kind of hope lives by faith with joy and hope in Jesus, despite difficult circumstances.
1 Peter 1:21 – Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
But our hope in God is not merely a wish. It is not a delusive phantom. Hope is a very true reality in who Jesus Christ is, what He has done, and the promises He has given to us.
1 Cor. 1:20 – For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Finally, the promises and the work of Jesus Christ are the basis for hope, for they are truth.
John 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.
These promises give us hope for they turn our eyes to Jesus Christ and to the realities outside of our problems, our situations, and our world.
Hebrews 6:17-19 -Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. That . . . we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.
When you find yourself losing hope, beginning to despair, or becoming discouraged, turn your eyes to Christ. Walk more closely with Him, read the Word of God. Pray for His filling, and allow His peace to enter your soul and change you, so that you may live in hope. Hope is our ‘Lord Jesus Christ.’
Psalm 38:15 – For in thee, O Lord, do I hope; Thou wilt hear, O Lord, my God.
Romans 15:13 – Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
(Written by Andrew Patterson)
Have you misplaced your hope?
Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Whoever despises the Word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. (Proverbs 13:12)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:18-28)
Understanding our future hope and glory is about understanding that nothing we could ever suffer or experience this side of heaven could compare to the price Jesus paid to save us. In the last passage you just read, we find all of creation frustrated, groaning, eager to be set free from the bondage of decay and sin. Why? So that it might fulfill its intended purpose, which is to glorify its Creator-God.
As God’s human creation, if we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, that frustration, groaning and eagerness to be set free from the bondage of decay and sin will be a part of each of our lives. The world and all that is around us is physically decaying and infected with sin.
But we have a hope, a future hope. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God Who justifies. Who is He that condemns? Christ Jesus, Who died – more than that, Who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-33)
Once again, let’s return to the hymn we started this blog with:
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand. Amen.
This hope we have is our anchor. It is a hope that is sure, steadfast, unmovable and everlasting. It is a living hope! Therefore, we persevere, knowing our future is sure.
Thank you, gracious loving Father, for this amazing, amazing gift of hope.
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Kathy Niswender is the wife of our pastor.