Ever mess up? Silly question, isn’t it? We all do. Every day we do something that needs forgiving, from a savior that gives hope – lots of hope! For Christians this is amazing, right? We have something to put our hope in…all the time.
However, there’s another type of hope – False Hope. This world is constantly offering false hope attacking the hope found in Christ. False hope says to put your hope in money, your job, your spouse, your kids, your Facebook likes…
1 Timothy 6:17 – Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
It’s not surprising we, Christians, also buy into this false hope. It’s everywhere and if we are not careful, we will take our eyes off of Jesus and put our hope on something temporary, false and potentially devastating. Allowing false hopes into our lives as Christians can create all sorts of issues and not just for us, but for those watching us. In those cases, we are also offering false hope. Unfortunately, we do this all the time and the culture around us points their finger at us and says “see, there’s another one of those Christians who says one thing and does another. Why would I listen to what they have to say about God?”.
Ephesians 2:12 “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
More bad news. You don’t have to look very far to see proof we are not doing a good job representing true hope. Just look at the reaction to the people around us. You can also see it in movies, TV shows, Facebook posts, politics and on and on. Even in the music we hear.
The rock group Poison sang about looking for hope, but seeing none in their song “Something to Believe In”:
Well I see him on the TV, preachin’ ’bout the promised lands
He tells me to believe in Jesus and steals the money from my hand
Some say he was a good man But Lord I think he sinned, yeah
And give me something to believe in, if there’s a Lord above
And give me something to believe in, Oh, Lord arise
I drive by the homeless sleeping on, A cold dark street
Like bodies in an open grave, underneath the broken old neon sign
That used to read Jesus Saves
A mile away live the rich folks, And I see how they’re living it up
While the poor they eat from hand to mouth, the rich is drinkin’ from a golden cup
And it just makes me wonder, why so many lose, so few win
And give me something to believe in
If there’s a Lord above
“If there’s a Lord above”…ouch. That hurts. We have something to believe in and something to share, we have hope…but our actions, or the perception of our action as in the case of the “rich folks”, may say otherwise. The group Genesis released “Jesus He Knows Me” in the early 1990’s as a satire of televangelism with powerful, honest, raw lyrics revealing how we are viewed by the world…
You see the face on the TV screen, coming at you every Sunday
See that face on the billboard, that man is me
On the cover of the magazine, there’s no question why I’m smiling
You buy a piece of paradise, you buy a piece of me
I’ll get you everything you wanted, I’ll get you everything you need
Don’t need to believe in hereafter, just believe in me
‘Cause Jesus he knows me, and he knows I’m right
I’ve been talking to Jesus all my life,
Oh yes he knows me, and he knows I’m right
And he’s been telling me, everything is alright
I believe in the family, with my ever loving wife beside me
But she don’t know about my girlfriend, or the man I met last night
Do you believe in god, ‘Cause that’s what I’m selling?
And if you want to get to heaven, I’ll see you right
You won’t even have to leave your house or get outta your chair
You don’t even have to touch that dial ‘Cause I’m everywhere
And Jesus he knows me, and he knows I’m right
I’ve been talking to Jesus all my life, Oh yes he knows me and he knows I’m right
Well he’s been telling me, everything’s gonna be alright
Won’t find me practicing what I’m preaching, won’t find me making no sacrifice
But I can get you a pocketful of miracles, if you promise to be good, try to be nice
God will take good care of you, Just do as I say, don’t do as I do
I’m counting my blessings, I’ve found true happiness
‘Cause I’m getting richer, day by day,
You can find me in the phone book, just call my toll free number
You can do it anyway you want, Just do it right away
There’ll be no doubt in your mind, you’ll believe everything I’m saying
If you want to get closer to him, Get on your knees and start paying
‘Cause Jesus he knows me and he knows I’m right
I’ve been talking to Jesus all my life
Oh yes he knows me and he knows I’m right
Well he’s been telling me everything’s gonna be alright, alright
So, how do we show the world true hope in Christ when they view us like that? How about this:
1 – Get out of the way
2 – Stop trying to be perfect
3 – Admit you’re a work in progress
True hope comes through when we get ourselves completely out of the way and let God take all the credit. No need to look perfect, talk perfect, pray perfect and do it all perfectly…because we just can’t be perfect, in anything. As soon as we begin to look perfect, like we have it all together, we lose something. We lose the ability for God to shine through us, to show God’s hope in something greater than what this world is offering. It doesn’t work when we pretend we have it all together, because the world sees right through it. I know. I used to be one of those people looking poorly at “all those picture perfect Christians” until I met someone who didn’t “pretend” they had it all together. You can keep pretending, you can keep trying to be perfect and think you’ve got it all together, but you need to know something…you would have never reached me with the Gospel and I’m guessing that type of person wouldn’t have reached you either.
I truly believe, if you humbly live your life as open book, a sinner saved by grace and a “work in progress”, you will help bring hope to a world who desperately needs the Hope living inside you.
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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