Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Homicide of Hope

Far too often the trials and temptations of life today seemingly engulf us in situations which appear hopeless. It seems there's no way out and a suicidal kamikaze last ditch effort remains as the only avenue of relief. This is what I call the homicide of hope.

Hope is defined as Trust, Reliance. A desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment. When that hope is lost, death, whether natural or spiritual is inevitable. Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding." I have recently come to read more from the amplified Bible and I like the wording there as well; "Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding." How ironic that the very center of the Bible is found in Psalm 118.8 "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man." These two scriptures are intertwined and bring about the same thought. Trusting in the name of Jesus and the power of the blood will calm any storm of life and see you safely to shore.

In the book of Acts chapter 27 we read of the Apostle Paul's journey to Rome aboard a sailing vessel which encountered a storm of hurricane proportions called "Euroclydon." Curiously, having not followed the instruction of the man of God, the captain of the ship went his own way and the vessel was in danger of being lost for 3 days. When finally, on the third day, the crew began to lighten the load of the ship by throwing all of the tackle over board. They realized the weight was too much and of no further use, and to be saved, they needed to get rid of it. All of a sudden, the words of the man of God took on a new revelation. Trust in man made things only weighted them down and brought them to the brink of death. The hope, trust or reliance in what were once considered tools, now became their down fall. In a final act of desperation they jettisoned the unnecessary in exchange for one last gasp of life giving hope. They had nearly committed the homicide of hope through their disobedience.

I find it interesting that the storm did not abate for many days afterward and the ship was literally adrift without anyone at the helm. When neither the sun nor the stars were visible for many days afterward, indicating no point of reference was available, the Word says "all hope that we should be saved was taken away."

It was on the third day after having fought through the hardships of death, hell and the grave that Jesus won the final victory and arose from the dead for our salvation. All humanity had given up, because The Point of Reference, our Compass in the time of turmoil, was not visible. He was busy, none the less, on our behalf, but because mankind could not see him, the world felt all was lost. How easily the newly weds, in Cana of Gallilee, had forgotten the miracle of water turned to wine in the midst of their need. Under the law, in the time of Moses, the waters of Egypt were turned into blood. Because of Jesus coming to dwell among us, he was able to turn the waters of the wedding into fine wine enabling us all to be partakers with Him. Hope was not lost, even in the crucial moment. A crisis, (Chinese word for dangerous opportunity), was not only avoided, but transformed into the first of many miracles. The beauty of the ceremony for the bride and groom were somewhat lessened by the rescue of the Righteous One in the time of need.

As Paul's vessel foundered on a natural sea of life the example was made evident that our reliance and trust in God, at all times, not just when the ship is sinking, is paramount. Even though the third day is upon us, and the point of reference is not yet visible, trusting in the Word and in the Lord, always keeping him at the very center of our lives, is what will keep us from committing the homicide of hope.

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