Mick’s CV Memo – Enduring Hope
We are a generation that prefers instant gratification. We want our computers and phones to boot up instantaneously if not faster. We want to be in shorter waiting lines at stores, no waiting rooms at the doctor’s office and commercial free entertainment. Give us quick devotional ideas (no more than 140 characters in a tweet!); diets that show results in the first two days, and rock-hard abs in a week. Microwave our popcorn (yuk, now could you!); run our cars through an automatic carwash and give us an app that will have us speaking Spanish in hours. Unfortunately, mature, godly character doesn’t come quickly and it requires maintenance. The design for enduring hope comes through gradual character change. Paul describes the catalytic way God does this in this passage…
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)
Paul describes a powerful dynamic between God, us and our circumstances that starts at the point where we have been justified by faith but moves through life’s circumstances to the point of enduring hope. In physical training, resistance builds strength. In character development hard situations force us to recognize our need for God and our need to cooperate with God growing our wisdom and endurance in the process.
God has allowed the confusing and sometimes frightening circumstances of this pandemic. There are unknowns at every turn, and we are left to trust God’s ability to sustain us and grow us as the situation continues. At this time of the year especially, I am comforted by the Scripture. The latter stages of Jesus’ ministry clearly show that despite the harrowing situation; Jesus and the Father were firmly in control orchestrating the salvation of mankind. God’s plan prevailed, the price was paid, the tomb was empty and the power of sin and death were defeated. Enduring hope doesn’t come from bank accounts, many multi-millionaires have died in paranoid isolation. It doesn’t come from achievements, awards and accolades; they don’t transport anyone beyond the grave. Enduring hope follows the process described in the passage above—justification, peace with God, access to God, suffering, perseverance, character and hope. Let’s pray for God to guide us along that path each day as we continue walking these unfamiliar paths.
We have celebrated the source of our hope this weekend. I pray that it continues to grow and endure thought our current challenges.
Please stay in touch. All of us on staff welcome your calls, texts, and emails. If God prompts you with someone’s name, reach out to them—neighbors, family, CCC friends or coworkers.
With you in Christ,