What is Hope?
God’s answer to pain and suffering.
Hope is trusting in someone or something for your future.
Welcome to The Light of Christ Weekly Podcast. Light of Christ Anglican Church is located in Georgetown, Texas at MLK and University Avenue. We are a modern expression of the ancient faith. You can learn more about us at lightofchristgeorgetown.org
Our morning meditation today comes from Job chapter 19 verses 25 through 26. "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh, I shall see God." Hope is trusting in someone or something for your future. Many people trust things like money, retirement, the government, their family, romance, that they'll just find the right one for their future. But the Christian hope is to trust in God for your future. And Job is an incredible example of the hope of the people of God. Job followed God's principles.
God's principles as outlined in the book of Proverbs, lead to blessing in this life. Yet this is just a generally true statement. It's not always true that if you follow God's way that your life will be blessed outwardly. Sometimes bad things happen, horrible things happen. Things outside of our control. This is why the book of Proverbs isn't the only Wisdom Book in the Old Testament, but you also have the book of Ecclesiastes and Job. See Job, you could say, follows the Proverbs to a T, yet he suffers immeasurably. And he has everything but he loses it all in a day. He loses his business with his donkey, his oxen, his sheep are killed by lightning, Chaldeans steal his camels, a tornado takes down the housing that his children are in and kills them, and then his health is even taken away.
And as he's in this misery, his friends come. They live in a simple world, that if you follow God then things will just be good for you. And so they see Job and they see that he's suffering and therefore they say, "Well, he must have done something wrong," and Job knows that's not the case. He knows that he's trusted in God and he continues to do so. Yet what's happening to Job? God seems to be hiding His face from him. He's allowing Satan to bring ruin on him, and Job continues though, to worship God. But he also screams at God, "Why? Why? Why is this happening?" And God never gives Job the reason. He never gives him a why.
And in verse 26, Job fully expects to die. He says, "My skin is wasting away, yet in my flesh, I shall see God." Yet Job trusts in God to vindicate, justify, exonerate him. He knows that his God is more powerful, somehow, than even death. And though everything appears to be going wrong, Job will be vindicated for continuing to trust in God, even through the most incredible pain and suffering. That is Job's hope. Job is trusting in God for his future.
Job didn't have the advantage that we have, because we can look back to the greater and better Job; Jesus. An innocent and righteous man, the only truly innocent and righteous man who had everything taken from him. And as he was nailed to the cross with his skin wasting away from the lacerations received and all going dark through the pain and suffering, Jesus cried, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The key there is he says, "My God." Jesus fully trusts in God for his future, even when all looks lost. "Into your hands," he says, "I commit my spirit." And God does vindicate him. He raises him up three days later to show that He is trustworthy, that He will not leave us nor forsake us, and that despite whatever kind of pain or suffering that we're going through, when we place our trust in God, we're placing our trust on this sure foundation. When we trust in God for our future, we can know that like Christ, He will vindicate us. He will raise us up on the last day.
Thank you for listening to the Light of Christ Weekly Podcast. Let us end our time together with a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. You can find this prayer on page 622.
O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.