Tim Douglas: Displaced Hope
September 20, 2012
I have dealt a lot recently with people that seem to either have no hope or have what I would call displaced hope.
By that I mean they are hopeful that the economy will turn around, that they will be able to find a job, that the election will bring a change or no change to the presidency, that they will be able to be well physically, that peace will be in their home and their relationships, and that their life will get better in general. We all seek a certain level of comfort, safety, and peace, in our lives and that is quite natural.
As I reflect on God's word the apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:19, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."
In other words Paul is stating that we must not only have hope in our relationship with Christ now, today, to get us through this tough spot, but also for the future, the promise of eternal life and rest.
A displaced hope, hopes for the things we as humans try to figure out. Our game plan, our dreams, goals, agendas which will fail us and we will be driven deeper into hopelessness for the future.
The psalmist writes about the proper place to direct our hope. Psalm 20:7: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
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To those that have a displaced hope I encourage you to refocus your hope on the one thing that has proven not to change and never has been a fading fade or trend of pop culture, but has stood the test of trial and time and that is trusting, hoping in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We all need a little more stability in our life in this world of everyday uncertainty. As I stated before I believe that is every human has a longing to be at peace within.
The writer of Hebrews states that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (13:8). And Solomon, acclaimed as the wisest man who has ever lived according to scripture, states that we are to "Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct our path" (Proverbs 5, 6).
Displaced hope will lead to disappointment, discouragement and despair.
I called a good friend of mine once and was telling him about my frustration with certain people and situations in my life at that time. His words to me, and I have no doubt from God through him, were: "Don't let your disappointment turn into discouragement."
That is difficult at times but is so true. When we have displaced hope and when we are disappointed we allow that disappointment to become discouragement, and if we are not careful to refocus our hope, the discouragement leads into despair.
The old hymn says "On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand."
The only one surety we can find in this rollercoaster ride we call life is to put our hope in Jesus Christ alone. God Bless!