Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Hope-less or Hope-ful?

"My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus name"
- The Solid Rock

What does it mean to hope in Christ alone? 

Certainly, at its most basic level, it means that we know He is the only way to God. All our righteous acts add up to a pile of filthy rags. We sin in ways we don't even recognize. Even when we manage to be better than most people, we don't even scratch the surface of God's standard of perfection. We never will. We trust in HIS blood shed on the cross, HIS righteousness credited to our account. 

But there is another level to this hope and trust in Him alone that I'm learning more about these days. In the day-to-day world, where people constantly let us down and we constantly let down even those we love, where we can't find a decent candidate for president in a country of 250 million people, where the rule of law and rules of logic seem to have been tossed out of courts -- I'm learning to look to the One who saved me as my only hope. As our only hope. 

Scripture commands me to pray for my country and to work for the good of the place where I live. It does not, however, command me to focus those prayers and efforts into any political party or "ism". No institution outside of the church is guaranteed success. And, as I've looked deeper into political theory and philosophy in recent years, I find that they all break down at some point. Every agenda-driven effort defined by being this or that party member, or this or that philosophical idealist, will not succeed in the long run. I've come to realize this, and so for years I have prayed that God would help me be Biblical, not political. 

But underneath, I held onto an unspoken hope in our system. A hope that somehow, people would nominate a candidate who could Change Things. A hope that some appointee would speak truth into a courtroom debate and turn the tide of heartbreaking decisions to a more just direction. I was hoping in something other than Christ alone. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not writing off our country. For all its faults, I believe in our republic, in representative democracy. I think our founders were wise. I pray, among many other verses, 2 Chronicles 7:14, that God will heal our land by returning His people to Himself.

But our Constitution isn't the Word of God. Our Supreme Court Chief Justice won't site on the bema seat. Our President won't rule and reign over 1000 years of peace before ultimately destroying Satan. All that is reserved for Christ alone. More than ever, I'm learning to put my hope in Him. Not just in some future time of perfection. I'm learning to hope in Him NOW. To be hopeful that He will stir His people like never before. To be hopeful that He will finish what He started in the church in this land. To be hopeful that He will raise up an Esther to speak truth to power despite personal risk. To be hopeful that, until all have heard the good news of the Gospel, He will keep us on the right track, for His name's sake, to accomplish His kingdom purposes.

More than ever, He's my cornerstone.

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