Hope…there’s a big difference between what the Believer and non-Believer thinks about this word. For the non-Believer, it’s about wishing for something which may or may not occur. In contrast, to the Believer, hope is based on their faith of a living God with assurance to what He has promised in His Word. In addition, this eternal hope is found in their trust and confidence in God’s Son, Jesus Christ…their Lord and Savior.
The world has been making fun of the promised Second Coming of Christ from Old Testament times. Back then, they had a saying, “The days go by and every vision comes to nothing?” (Ezekiel 12:22) The world demands immediate and instantaneous results…because it hates to wait for anything. And so as the world watches for this Second Coming, it becomes impatient, and impatience becomes frustration, which turns to scoffing and mocking remarks like, “Just where is this Jesus you talk about and why hasn’t He shown up yet?” But God doesn’t go back on His promises, and the Second Coming is real…and when the world scoffs at the Second Coming of Christ Jesus, they are merely carrying out this Scripture.
There are many benefits to doing what’s right in the sight of the Lord. That’s because God’s commands and promises within the Bible are for our good…both morally and practically. For if we heed them, we will be known for our integrity and good character…not otherwise. And when we follow closely after the Lord and not our fleshly desires…we find His favor. For Psalm 84:11 tells us, The Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” NIV So ponder this…it will only profit us to obey God.
Every culture has its myths and old wives’ tales. They contain bits of folklore, unverified claims, and superstitions…and you probably could think of a few right now! . But here in I Timothy, the Apostle Paul is comparing these deceptive fables to the promises of God. He tells Timothy to avoid all forms of this godless chatter. For just like it takes physical exercise to make our bodies strong…he writes that we need to train or discipline our minds to reject the deception of fairy tales, myths, and old wives’ tales…and rather focus on the true promises of God, which have eternal benefits.
God’s gracious gift of salvation is for everyone…for He wants all to be saved.( I Timothy 2:4) But we shouldn’t take His slowness in judgement as a sign of weakness, indecision, or wavering…but rather as long-suffering. For it’s only by God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience is He willing to give all of us the time to change our minds and repent.
We were all once, “…without hope and without God in the world.” We were separated from Him by a chasm so deep and wide… there was no way of getting across by ourselves. In this bleak darkness our desperation grew, and we felt the hopelessness of being abandoned. But God then provided the bridge across that vast chasm…it was in the shape of a Cross. The gracious gift of redemption and reconciliation was bound to this Cross as the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, ran down it. Yes, we were all once hopeless and cut off from God…but then God built a bridge for us…in the shape of a Cross.
The whole of mankind hoped with eager anticipation…awaiting the promise of the fulfillment of the coming Messiah…only to watch Him die a terrible and horrific death on the Cross. The day after that shocking event, the human soul was holding its breath…struggling to remember the words of Jesus while despair tried to crowd out any shred of hope. Human life hung in the balance between hope and hopelessness that fateful day. But God is the God of hope, (Romans 15:13) and we have this hope as an anchor. (Hebrews 6:19) So if today, you’re facing the impossible, the incurable, the irreversible…put your hope in God and fix your eyes on Him. For if God can raise Jesus from the dead, He can breathe life into your sick, dying body, revive a struggling marriage, or break the chains of addiction off a loved one. For as long as there is hope, there’s life.