Thursday, August 17, 2006

Finding Real Hope

"Finding real hope" is part of our commitment at BCC. We commit to this because we know real people have real hurts. We commit to this because we believe that the only hope anyone has is Jesus, and He's who we want to be about.

In Romans 5:3-4, Paul writes, We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Note the interesting order in this process. Paul doesn't begin with "hope that things will get better." No, the end of the process is hope. That's counterintuitive to some extent, and I think it's because undoubtedly a thread of hope binds this process together. The difference between someone who buckles under the weight of trouble and someone who embraces it and works through it is trust that God has a plan in, through, and at the end of the muck.

But I wonder if hoping to hope in this instance is like asking God to give us a stronger faith. That prayer itself is an act of faith, even if small. "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief." That sort of thing.

So while a hope for hope drives the search for Real Hope, Paul indicates here that hope is the result of the process. You get to hope for you pain and hurt by going through it with perseverance. Persevering through the pain and hurt produces character. And with that refined character finally comes hope.

It's not an easy path, to be sure. But if we want to find real hope and help others find real hope, it is a necessary and God-honoring one.

Psalm 119:116 reads, O LORD, sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.

There's a blueprint for the finding real hope process. Trust in God to sustain us through the trouble, relying on "His promise" of healing and blessing and peace, and real life awaits. Our job as Christians trying to be Christians is to be hope givers and hope assisters and hope searchers -- not hope dashers.


At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And remember: James:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything...

I have been moved to tears in worship (at BCC)while singing this song because of the power, truth and promise of the words. That verse/song is full of real hope. It's one of the things the keeps me coming back to BCC...

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like a couples' song that
they call their own - as a reminder of when they met ,
the song that keeps me coming back and I wish we sang more is,
My Redeemer Lives - - it brings me to tears every time I sing it/hear it. We must have sung it the first time I set foot in BCC ,
Easter 1996. The power of the words sustained me thru a difficult time and the words and meaning came to life and fulfilled a rescue and a "redeeming" of my marriage and family. It will always be "my" song. Lionel had a poignant video message to the youth last night about lyrics and the book of Psalms - I hope it is shared with everyone soon.



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