Hey, I’ve got something good to share with you. We’re in the season of ADVENT at Christmas, which means the coming of Christ. ADVENT includes the four Sundays prior to Christmas Day. It has a double application – looking back to Christ’s first coming and forward to His imminent second coming. In worship at Gateway, our ADVENT theme is God Still Speaks! Let’s tune our ears.
It’s a wonder God’s still talking to us, but with lavish love He still speaks our language – HOPE. My Grandmother used to say, “I’ll hope you,” substituting hope for help. God says, “I’ll hope you!” One hippopotamus-sized truth in the God Bookis found in Colossians 1:27: “…Christ in you, the hope of Glory.” When God’s hope enters “in”, what happens? One new-hope believer wrote this testimony: “We who…take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:18ff)
Anchor of the soul? Our soul is our self, our psyche. Ever find your self/soul drifting into ill winds, dangerous waters or too-deep seas? Yes, we need an anchor – or we can be swamped and swimming upstream, thrown overboard with other souls who do us no good. Why do you think Jesus is called Savior? He saves our souls, He is our hope. Hope is expectation. And God can meet and exceed our expectations.
Our soul has three functions:
- It’s our “intellect” center – we think and become. Our minds can sink into hurtful ideas, wrong-headed thoughts, sinful rationalizations and deceptive, boastful talk. Fasten your soul onto the words/truths/ideas/thoughts of Jesus and you won’t need a psychiatrist – you’ll have Jesus. Anchor your soul in Philippians 4:4-9 and sail the seas of life with God’s good winds at your back.
- It’s our “emotion” center – we feel life like no other being. God gave us emotions to fill our sails with holiness, health and happiness. Unbalanced emotions will tip us over – or keel-haul us. A Spirit-controlled temperament, read about it in Galatians 5:22, gives us nine dimensions of spiritual balance, joy and heavenly feelings. Stay anchored and avoid gasping for breath in the whirlpool of self-destructive emotions.
- It’s our “will or won’t” center – we choose and consequences, good or bad, chart our course. It’s not complicated – God’s way and will or our own will and waywardness. God is our north star – you can’t replace Him with your own flickering light on the prow of your ship for direction. Good “choosing” requires discernment. Discernment is “wisdom in action”. Check out James 3:13-18 to see which kind of wisdom dictates your choices. Choose well and succeed! Otherwise, sinking is in your future.
Remember, it’s “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. A defining moment for you, me or any human being is when we invite Christ “in” by faith as our personal Savior and our only Hope on earth and for heaven. He then lives “in” us and we live “in” Him. Have you ever prayed the “in” prayer? Invite Him in with all your soul – He knows how to hope you. Just pray in your own words – start with “Dear God, I need hope, let me in please….”
In His Name, Chuck
P.S.: Share your “Hope” story? Let me hear from you.