As I write this post, it is 2:00 am. I really was not wanting to get up and write, but I could just sense the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart and mind to get up and write, so here I am. The thoughts this morning that are on my heart and mind are about hope. What our hope is in. Where we put our hope, and how that affects how we respond to life. How that either makes us fearful, angry, frustrated, joyful, or peaceful.
The topic of hope is pertinent for in just a week’s time the 2020 Presidential election will be upon us. For some of us this brings about excitement. Excitement that there is a new candidate to replace the current. Excitement that injustices can be addressed, that new ideas can be put in place, and that long time wrongs can be made right.
Others of us are fearful. Fearing the change in the status quo, fearing the possibility of changes to our rights, freedoms, and finances and fearing the party itself that may put itself squarely in power in Washington. I can understand both sides, the fear and the excitement, because I’ve heard them both loud and clear from my friends and family over the past few months and I myself feel these same emotions.
Yet, if we are in Christ, though we may feel fear, excitement, or both, our hope remains unchanged. Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and the American Government is not our Savior. Jesus Christ is, and within Him lies our constant hope.
As I lay in bed, unable to sleep, a verse came to mind in regards to hope.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
Now you may be asking yourself, what does this verse have to do with hope? I’m glad you asked. It took me some examining to make the connection as well.
To summarize what Matthew is saying here is that our heart is drawn to what we esteem as valuable. And that what we esteem as valuable is what we will focus our time, energy, effort, and resources towards. In essence, what we treasure is at the center of our hearts, and our hearts reveal our treasures.
For instance, if a man treasures his family above all, then he will make time for them, spend time with them, protect them, provide for them, and neglect other things to be with them. If a woman’s treasure is her career then she will spend long hours at the office. She will do whatever she can to keep or get ahead in her career. And to be clear, to treasure something, to find value in it, is not a bad thing.
These are just a couple examples of what treasures we can hold within the center of our hearts, and how these treasures can dictate our actions, choices we make to move towards one thing, while neglecting or negating other things. The list of treasures can be quite expansive and subjective.
So we know what treasures are. We know what they do for us. But have we ever asked the why question in regards to treasures?
Why does one person esteem family over finances while another esteems finances over family? Why does someone treasure something?
And this is the connection. Hope. We treasure certain things because our hope is connected to them.
When we treasure something, it’s because we hope in that thing. We treasure security because we believe that it provides us with the hope of control. We treasure family because we believe that it provides us with the hope of love and connection. We treasure finances because we believe that it provides us with the hope of options, freedom, security, and happiness. We treasure alcohol, narcotics, sexual activity because we believe it can give us pleasure, as well as an escape from the pain, even just momentarily, and provide us with a numbing agent. We treasure success because we believe that if we’re successful we can control others perception of us. These are all generalizations, and I understand that, but each one of us, has something that we hope in, and that thing that we hope in is at the very center of everything that we do or say whether we realize it or not.
Are all hopes created equal? No. Do all the things that we hope in deliver on their promises? No. It’s important for us to not only recognize what we esteem, value, and hope in, but it is also equally important to recognize that all hopes outside of Jesus Christ fall short. They do. Why? Because they weren’t created to be our one and only hope. Jesus was meant to be from the beginning, and He came to earth to show us that very thing.
We see this in the Bible over and over again. Jesus encountering people looking for hope in so many different areas, and Jesus intentionally crossed paths with them, to show them that He was the one who they could truly put their hope in. From the Samaritan woman at the well, to the woman caught in adultery, to the blind man, to the man possessed by a legion of demons. He proclaimed that He was the one and only hope that was not an empty well run dry. That He indeed was hope in human form.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:16-21).
So I ask you today where is your hope? Is it Jesus, or somewhere else?
Is He your treasure? Is He your hope?
I ask all these questions because I believe that where you put your hope will dictate not only how you vote, but it will also dictate your response to the results of this election. Because it will affect the thing that you treasure in, hope in, either in a positive or negative way.
But if your hope is in Jesus, then your hope, your treasure cannot be moved. It cannot be swayed. By a Presidential Election. By the possible losing of rights and freedoms. It cannot be swayed by policy changes, and raising or lowering of wages. It cannot be taken from you in the loss of your job, the relapse to an addiction. It cannot be swept away by a flood or the quaking of the ground.
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10).
So get out and vote if you haven’t already, but vote, not out of fear, not listening to the fear mongering going on either side, vote with your hope in mind. Vote with Jesus in mind. Vote knowing that Jesus has you regardless of what physically happens in the world. Vote in confidence knowing that no matter what, your hope is constant, in God, who is constant and unchanging.