Ever wonder why some in the body of Christ seem to stop moving forward while others just keep going and going, regardless of the circumstances they are facing? They move onward and upward, not only when the road is easy and their burden light, but also when the road is rocky and their burden is weighty. The key to understanding the difference between the two is found in the following maxim:
The degree of forward movement you experience in life will always be
in direct proportion to the placement of your hope!
When your hope is in Jesus there is no obstacle too great to overcome . . . no mountain too high . . . no valley too low . . . no river too wide. However, when you build your hope on anything smaller than Jesus, obstacles and opposition can and will overwhelm you and cause you to stop moving onward.
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
The only hope that will never disappoint is Jesus. If your hope is in your physical abilities, one day they will abandon you. If your hope is in your intellect, one day it will disappoint you. If your hope is in your money, one day it will sprout wings and fly off to the sky (Proverbs 23:5). If your hope is in another person, one day he or she will let you down. Your physical abilities are not capable of carrying your hope. Your intellect is not capable of carrying your hope. Your money is not capable of carrying your hope. Your relationships are not capable of carrying your hope. When your reason for continuing onward into the life God is calling you to live is built on anything other than Jesus, eventually the foundation will crack and the walls will come crashing down.
All horizontal hope disappoints. It was designed by God to do just that. Only vertical hope can keep you going when you would rather not. Adam and Eve learned this lesson the hard way, as did many men and women in the Bible. Because everything on this side of the grave is damaged by the brokenness of the fall, everything you hope in other than Jesus is broken . . . and broken things are designed to disappoint.
If this finds you in a place where you are struggling to move onward, take some time to check what you have placed your hope in. Are you hoping for your spouse to get romantic? Are you hoping for your job to get fulfilling? Are you hoping for your station in life to get better? Stop hoping in anything that is smaller than Jesus. Sure, in the short run the promise of these false gods can be powerful and pleasing. But in the end, they leave you wanting; they simply cannot deliver on their promises.
When your hope is in the God of hope, you can even have hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. When your hope is in the God of hope, there is nothing that can stand in the way of your onward progress. Your safety is in the hands of Omnipotence . . . your security is in the hands of Omnipresence . . . your success is in the hands of Omniscience!
No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)
The only place to find the kind of hope you need to keep moving forward is found in the One who died for you, so that you could live for Him. Onward Christian; onward, for He is with you every step of the way!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!