DO NOT SUCCUMB TO FALSE HOPE

David RayMinistry, MusingsLeave a Comment

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Do not succumb to false hope.

There is nothing about you that would give you any reason to believe that you will be different today than you were yesterday.

(Wow, that was borderline depressing.  Hold on; it’s going to get worse before it gets better.)

We conceive of time in a linear fashion, but in cosmological terms we have simply completed a giant circle – and that circle was filled with 365 smaller circles.  It should remind us that so much about January 1, 2015 is the same as January 1, 2014.

You have the same character flaws.  You probably have the same bad habits.  You have the same temptations, and the same weaknesses to them.  In 2015, you are much more likely to make the same bad choices that you did in 2014, to hurt the same people in the same way, to find yourself at the same end of your same rope.

And the truth is, for all of our wishful social media posting – This is going to be MY year. 2015 is going to be WAAAAY better than 2014! – we have no way of knowing or controlling the future.  How many people filled Facebook with similar sentiments on January 1, 2014 only to find that 2014 was full of heartache and tragedy?  In fact, if many of us could actually see what the next year will hold, we would step into it with fear and trembling rather than empty bravado.

Do not succumb to false hope.

But is there ANY hope?

Yes, there is.  There is REAL hope, and it is the same today as it was yesterday.  It is the same as it has always been.

Jesus Christ is hope personified.  He is the force outside of ourselves that can truly change our hearts.  He turns fishermen into disciples (Peter, Andrew, James and John in Matt. 4:18-21).  He turns thieving tax collectors into philanthropists (Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10).  He turns bitter enemies into champions of faith (Saul/Paul in Acts 9:1-19).

This is the kind of transformation we know we need – and yet cannot seem to achieve on our own.  In fact, our very awareness of this need – our desire for truly lasting change – should be the clearest evidence that such change is really possible, even if we seem to look for it in all the wrong places.

Sure, there will be a few of us that keep our New Year’s resolutions and quit smoking, start exercising, or stick with that diet – although the vast majority of us won’t even be able to do that! – but those changes will be superficial, window dressing on the broken glass of our souls, lipstick on the proverbial pig.  But Jesus offers something different: new creation.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come,” Paul writes.  “The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17)

In fact, Jesus specializes in bringing dead things to life.  (Can I get an amen, Lazarus?)  Paul – the former persecutor of the church – knew this better than anyone.  In Ephesians 2 he writes, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…but because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ.” (Eph. 2:1-5)

And not only is Jesus hope for a better life, He is also the hope that beyond this world – beyond these endless circumnavigations of the sun that seem to leave us right where we started – all things will be made new (Rev. 21:5).  Christ in us IS hope, not just for self-improvement, but for transformation; not just for good, but for glory (Col 1:27).

Do not succumb to false hope.

Find REAL hope in Christ, hope that is constant, enduring, and life-changing.  And maybe this year, beyond your resolutions, you’ll find restoration, reconciliation, and redemption.

(By the way, my New Year’s resolution is to blog more!  This is going to be MY year. 2015 is going to be WAAAAY better than 2014!

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About the Author
David Ray

David Ray

David Ray is a worship leader, artist and songwriter from Houston, Texas, where he serves at Salem Lutheran Church. He and his wife, Jess, are the creators of Doorpost Songs, a series of songs and resources designed for kids worship, multi-gen worship, and family worship. Dave and Jess are the parents of three rambunctious kids and they love getting to serve churches and families across the nation.

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