What is the Language and Posture of our Hope?

What is the language and posture of faith?

What words do we hear?

What postures do we observe?

What feelings do we sense?

What are the actions that distinguish and set apart those in our sphere of influence and beyond – that most communicate their faith?

For the words, postures, feelings, and behaviors of the faithful people of God provide an intimate and up-close-and-personal account of our trust in Him.

If someone were to observe us for the next 24 hours – our words, actions, and even our thoughts – what would they document about our life of faith?

Would they see the hope of Christ shining from our inmost being – despite what would happen in that 24 hour period?

And what if we were observed for a lengthier period of time – what then?

Would the hope of Christ be observed and found in us – day after day after day?

Especially if life was beyond tough?

The prophet Micah lived a tough, tough, tough life. He’s known as the truth and love prophet – speaking God’s truth and holding fast to God’s love and convictions during a disruptive period in the nations of Israel and Judah’s history. Israel and Judah were a divided, complicated mess. Decimated by corruption, deceit, immorality and security and fortification in self-centered pursuits, neither kingdom felt very beholden to their God. Rather than seeking the Lord and His righteousness, His justice and His mercy, they chose to cling to their idolatry. The contemporary prophets of Micah’s time prophesied for a price; falsely proclaiming God’s peace and God’s blessing to ears that only wanted to hear affirmation, approval, and absolution.

Micah talked a different talk and walked a different walk in comparison to his prophesying peers. The Lord sent Micah to speak into this iniquitous time and declare God’s justice, God’s redeeming love, and God’s righteousness.

It wasn’t easy.

Even though the people of his time considered Micah to be a man of faith, they didn’t appreciate him. In fact, they despised Micah’s words, his posture, and his actions. Their rants and raves of a discontent, dissatisfaction, and self-centeredness compelled even more distrust and division. And yet, even in such a situation, the Lord used Micah to bring even a self-centered lot to Him – loving, forgiving, and redeeming them as they ultimately discovered His abiding faithfulness.

It didn’t happen quickly, though.

This was true for Micah. He found no assurance in his fellow man, in his leaders, in his government, or in his world. In the sin-immersed culture of his time, there was next to no one with whom Micah could place his confidence or compassion – save God alone.

He writes:

But as for me, I will watch in hope for the Lord
I will wait for God my Savior
My God will hear me.

New International Version, Micah 7:7

In spite of every difficulty he experienced, every attack he suffered, every disappointment and failure he bore, and every misconception he endured, Micah chose to trust in the Lord.

He would watch for His God in expectant hope. For in this instance, hope is the Hebrew transliterated word, yachal. Yachal is an expectant, persistent, abiding, remaining hope. This abiding, persistent hope encouraged Micah to be more faithful, to wait with more patience, and to trust with more confidence – appreciating that his God knew Him. His God knew his situation. And His God would answer him.

Micah demonstrated a language and posture of faith that sought God for his physical trials, his spiritual hopes, and his eternal salvation above everything else.

His abiding hope in God distinguished him as a man of bold and courageous faith.

His life looked radically different than everyone else because Micah’s concerns and cares were not earth-bound, but rather kingdom-oriented.

Do we live like that?

In Matthew 6, Jesus exhorted his listeners with these words:

 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

New International Version, Matthew 6: 31– 34

Micah and Jesus appreciated that God was near, that God listened, that God heard, and that God knew their situation on earth. They looked above and beyond the temporal to the eternal.

Do we?

How do we orient our words, our posture and our actions – in the sight of others?

Do we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

Do our words, our posture, and our actions distinguish us as people of faith – or do we look and sound like so many others who are ranting and raving these days?

Do our lives shine with an abiding, expectant hope in our God and Savior?

Friends, there is great opportunity in living life with an abiding, persistent hope in God – no matter what our cares, concerns, or circumstances. It is a great encouragement to those in our sphere of influence. However, if we don’t, if we choose to fear, worry, or place our security in self-centered pursuits, we won’t look any different, posture ourselves any different, or act any different than those who hold no faith at all.

It isn’t always easy.

It wasn’t for Micah.

However, he found great comfort, great compassion, and great hope in his God despite it all. And because of that he could say:

But as for me, I will watch in hope for the Lord
I will wait for God my Savior
My God will hear me.

 

Will we?

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