My hope is built on…the World Series?

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Well, not really, but seriously, it really is, or was.  That is, until the Dodgers game 5 defeat (collapse, disaster, whatever you want to call it) at the hands of the Washington Nationals in the opening round of this year’s playoffs. All year we have been planning a trip to visit Troy and Cassie down in Idaho and the dates for our visit were specifically chosen to coincide with the World Series. The hope was for me and Troy to be able to watch, and celebrate, the Dodgers in the World Series. The trip will still happen and we will enjoy our time together as a family but our hope of cheering the Dodgers to victory together is gone and nothing can bring it back. How sad that a year of planning could be dashed by the events of 3 days which actually totaled (at most) 12 hours. Crazy, isnt’ it? I mean, crazy to base the events of a vacation around something which has more likelihood of not happening as happening.

But, is it really THAT crazy though? Don’t we do that all the time? Do we not in fact base our hope on things which are guaranteed (at some level) to let us down and not produce everything we had hoped? Even if all the bad that can happen doesn’t happen, isn’t everything we base hope, stability, fulfillment, and/or success on nothing more than a gamble with no promise of any positive fruition? The reality is this: There is nothing in this world which is absolutely, unequivocally safe to set our hope on. Our health, our finances, our relationships, our families, our mental well-being (among many other things) all leave us vulnerable in the extreme.

That is, except for one glaring exception: those whose hope is set on Jesus Christ.

The foundational promise is this,

“For this is contained in Scripture:‘BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone,AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.’” (1st Peter 2:6)

He who believes will not be disappointed. Now THAT is a promise! The promise of faith in Jesus is that no matter what happens, no matter how life feels or seems RIGHT NOW, when I get to the end of my life and stand in eternity, I will NOT say, “Wow…I didn’t see THAT coming. Now what am I going to do?!” It is the promise that every pain and sacrifice will be redeemed, every wrong made right, and every sin forgiven.

We have this assurance made clear by the words of Jesus in John 14,

“‘Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.’” (John 14:1-3)

Jesus was telling His followers they were safe. They, and ALL who confess Jesus as Lord, are safe by the promises made in the short phrase “… I go to prepare a place for you…”

“I go” — where Jesus was going was NOT heaven, but the cross. Although at that moment they were terrified by the revelation that He was to be betrayed and killed, that was the path to their safety.

“To prepare a place” — again, not heaven. Specifically mansions or rooms in heaven. The text specifically states the dwelling places in the Father’s house are already in existence. Jesus did not have to, nor is He currently, building us a mansion. The “place” Jesus speaks of is not a location but an eternal residency in the Father’s house. Our rightful place in the Father’s house was paid for by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross which bought our forgiveness and removed our guilt.  We have a hope made sure that any ministry service, any sacrifice, any suffering for what is right, any gift in Jesus name, any obedience, and any act of faith will not have been wasted. They are all safe in the Father’s hands.

“For you” — You who believe (1st Peter 2:6). Only those whose faith is placed squarely upon the grace given by God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross have this assurance.

We can be at peace knowing that our toil is not in vain. We are free from the fear that in the last innings there will be no chance of heroic home runs from the opposition leaving us in shock wondering, “What just happened?!”

The precious words of Edward Mote in his famous hymn will always ring true…

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

 

When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

 

His oath, His covenant, and blood

Support me in the whelming flood;

When every earthly prop gives way,

He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

 

When He shall come with trumpet sound,

Oh, may I then in Him be found,

Clothed in His righteousness alone,

Faultless to stand before the throne!

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

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