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Categorized | From the Pulpit

In times like these

Pastor Dick Nichols

Cedar Creek Community Church

2969 14 Mile Rd NE, Sparta, MI 49345

(616) 866-4138

So begins the Christian hymn, “In times like these we need a Savior, in times like these we need an anchor.” A thought I have spent much time with over these past few months is the timeliness of God’s word. Specifically, those three great words we find in Paul’s writing, 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1st Corinthians 13:12-13 NIV).

It is this word hope sitting between the bookends of faith and love.  I don’t think we would dispute what Paul has written under divine inspiration, “the greatest of these is love,” yet this doesn’t default that faith and hope become orphans or poorer attributes of the Christian in life’s journey. We need all three great words in the times we’re in today and always.  

The writer of Hebrews has given us these scriptures to establish how big this little word hope is.  And no, that’s not an oxymoron, let’s see how God lays this out for us, 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:19-20). Confirmed by God himself with an oath, his purpose is our encouragement in the hope of being in a relationship with Jesus Christ, now and forever.  

This is a well-known truth of scripture, that God cannot lie, his promises are “yes and amen” for us, unchanging and forever unchangeable, which simply means that our hope today is not based on our circumstances or any life event that presents itself as life altering, the Ancient of Days who created heaven and earth has said so. Hope is not lost, it is right where it belongs, held in place for us by God’s gifts of faith and love. How big is this little word?  Well, it’s only four little letters h-o-p-e, while at the same time, this hope is eternal, given to us for encouragement by God himself. That’s quite a big little word isn’t it?

Now, like faith and love, hope is as big in our lives, as we choose to allow; if our faith is in God, and we believe what is written in scripture that “God is love,” (1st John 4:16), that faith is truly “a gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8), do we exercise our faith and love by accepting God’s hope even when we may not see the end of our circumstances.  God does!  

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:13 NIV).  Quite frankly, that’s good enough for me.

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