My heart stirred when I read the words.
I blurted, “That’s it!” to no one but myself.
The night before I listened to a story of betrayal. This was a disturbing tale of deceit, duplicity, and equivocation. Having followed the promising events which ultimately led to this wretched situation, I was shocked. The savage breach in policy, contract, and commitment was heartless. I honestly never expected that the pledges offered would be torn up, tossed out, only to become irredeemable.
This was wrong. Wrong. WRONG.
I went to bed that night wondering what might be done. Because, honestly, I wanted to do something to help transform this horrid situation into something beautiful, grace-filled and lovely through the redeeming and saving power of Jesus Christ.
My God heard me.
The next morning, I read these words in Hebrews from Him…
The former regulation is set aside because it is weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced by which we draw near to God.
New International Version, Hebrews 7: 18-19
A better hope leaped from the page of my bible and into my heart, my soul, and my mind.
“That’s it!” I told myself. “That’s what this bitter and disheartening situation needs – a better hope!”
The author of Hebrews exhorted his audience to embrace the truth that the Law was never designed to save people. This Law was created to point out sin. It was never developed to pardon, to forgive, to justify, or to sanctify. It was meant to direct people towards Jesus Christ. No good deed, promising program or admirable activity is capable of making anyone righteous before God. Only through Jesus Christ can we enter the throne room of grace. We are able to go directly to God through Jesus Christ. He is our guarantee of a better covenant. He is our better hope!
The Greek transliterated word for better is kreitton. Kreitton means to be more useful, more serviceable, more advantageous, and more excellent. There is a force, strength, power and might found in the hope of Jesus Christ that is offered nowhere else. This spiritual good is established upon Christ’s priesthood and atonement. Our joyful, confident expectation of salvation is found in Him.
The disheartening situation I heard about one night did not have to remain hopeless and despairing.
Because of Jesus Christ and the better hope He offers, something more useful, more serviceable, more advantageous and more excellent could result!
My heart burst at the promise!
My mind lit up and brightened with understanding!
Friends, if some activity, some person, or some object fails to draw us closer to the Lord, it is weak and unprofitable for us in the long term. These things will fail to fulfill their pledges, promises, and commitments. For nothing can provide the assurance, grace, and care like Jesus Christ.
This is why we need to apply the hope test to the opportunities, programs, and even people we encounter in life.
What is the hope test?
Well, actually, I just came up with it!
There are four questions we need to ask ourselves with the Hope Test.
First, do we have a joyful, confident expectation of salvation in Jesus Christ? In other words, do we believe that Jesus Christ is our hope for today, tomorrow, and eternity?
Second, do we trust in the grace and goodness of Jesus?
Third, if Christ is our hope and we trust Him for our lives, then is the person, activity, program, or offering something that is guiding us closer to God?
Fourth, if the person, activity, program, or offering is taken away – for whatever reason – do we trust that Jesus Christ is our better hope and that He has someone or something more excellent for us in the future???
If we answer these questions honestly and forthrightly, and trust Jesus, we can rely upon Him to lead us forward in life with confidence, with peace and with joy towards a better Hope!
Have you been disappointed lately?
Have you experienced betrayal?
Has your heart been shattered into a million pieces?
Have you sunk into a pit of despair?
Friends, there is a better hope!
This Hope is Jesus Christ and the wondrously good and amazingly grace-filled plan He has for you today, tomorrow and for eternity!!!!
Does your heart stir like mine as you consider this hope-filled truth?
Even in discouraging times, similar to the story I listened to the other evening, a Better Hope awaits! Something redemptive is at hand!!!
Do you believe that?
Friends, there are too many people who have lost sight of the hope of Jesus Christ for their lives.
Because something hasn’t worked out, because someone didn’t live up to a certain expectation, because some object of promise failed to satisfy, many people today – even people who claim to be Christ followers – have lost their way. They believed this person, this place, or this thing offered them something fulfilling, only to discover it did not. Their misplaced hope turned out to be weak, unprofitable and uncertain. Their hurts and losses formed harsh, bitter spirits. Blind to Jesus Christ, they cannot see that He has something better for them. Their pain took hold as they cast all of their desires upon some person, place or thing.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Jesus Christ is our Better Hope!
His love, His power, His strength, and His joy are ours as we trust in His more useful, more serviceable, more advantageous, and more excellent hope!
Friends, apply the Hope Test to the people, events, and opportunities in your lives. If they do not pass muster and do not lead you into a more intimate relationship with the Lord, they aren’t worth it – not in the eternal landscape of His blessings and joy.
If something doesn’t work out, don’t worry. Don’t fret. Don’t despair.
There is a Better Hope!
Seek Jesus Christ!
Someone or something better is coming, because the Better Hope can make it so!
I’d love your thoughts on the Hope Test and Jesus Christ as our Better Hope! What can you share with me? What can I pray about for you?
Image retrieved from A Better Hope