My Hope

                      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.                            When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace;                            In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.                                            His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood;                           When all around my soul gives way, He then is my hope and stay.                               When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, 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,                                   All other ground is sinking sand.                                                                                      Hymn  The Solid Rock by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

I have found great comfort in many hymns the past few weeks.  When I feel discouragement and hopelessness creeping up on me, I know it is because I am not “taking every thought captive,” as I am instructed to in 2 Corinthians 10:5. I am not “protecting my heart,” as instructed in Proverbs 4:23.

There is a remedy for my discouragement, the instructions are not easy to follow, and it often takes numerous applications in a single hour.

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Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”(written by Paul the Apostle)

I have memorized this passage so that I can apply this prescription wherever I am.  Verse 8 is suggesting that I focus on the blessings God has provided. These thoughts are based totally on scripture. I cannot always trust my impression; therefore all that I know that is true is scripture. I must focus on who Jesus is. I study each word of the gospels to know my Savior. Paul is not saying pretend everything is wonderful. He is saying give it to God and let it go. This is the not same thing as positive thinking, it is not Tinkerbelle saying, “Think happy thoughts and you can fly!”

Notice that Edward Mote’s hope is not based on governmental statistics or political party propaganda or even what the great pastor so and so said. His hope  is based on the character of Jesus Christ: “When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace.”  He is not basing his hope on some woman’s blog or the warm fuzzy feeling he gets when he looks at puppies or listens to children’s laughter. He is “Standing on the Promises of God” (You may want to add this hymn Standing on the Promises by R. Kelso Carter to true, noble, and praiseworthy gifts  on which to focus.) He knows that trusting feelings “is sinking sand”.

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Julie Andrews sang “My Favorite Things,” written by Mary Martin and Patricia Neway, to ease the fears of children in the “Sound of Music”. That is the secular counterfeit version of chasing the blues away. I am not talking about trying to distract  yourself from true fear by denying the fear. When you fear a story of terrorism, don’t cover your ears with your hands and sing “My Favorite Things”. I am not saying lie to yourself. I have prayed: “God I am honestly scared for my country. I see that our values no longer line up with your biblical teaching. God I know that it is a. law of nature that people will reap a harvest from the seeds that they sow. God I realize that the financial and moral collapse is a result of the seeds we started sowing decades ago.”

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Paul says to talk to God about everything. When you are suffering, admit it: “God, this hurts. Jesus, I know that you understand pain. You experienced emotional pain of being betrayed by someone you love. During your crucifixion, you experienced physical pain greater than I can imagine. The anticipation of the spiritual pain lead you to sweat drops of blood. You experienced what only those in hell have, when God completely turned away from You, as You bore all of my filthy, disgusting sins of selfishness, ego and idolatry. So Jesus I trust the Holy Spirit to give me comfort. I trust that you are stronger than any evil force. I trust that you grace is enough for whatever suffering may come. Jesus I will base my hope not on my feelings that are sinking sand. I will carefully put my every step on ‘Christ the Solid Rock’.”  So when you are feeling the hopelessness of life, change your focus on Jesus, then His hope will give you the courage you need to take the next step forward.  (All verses are New International Version)