January 19, 2017: Build Up Your Hope

Morning: Genesis 44-47; Romans 6:15-7:6; Evening: Psalm 16

It is the first Psalm that speaks of hope, and the only Psalm quoted in the New Testament that talks of hope, Psalm 16. Life is built on hope. Man never takes a single step forward even in the most mundane matters of life without hope. He hopes he his car will start and make it to work like usual today. She hopes to find her little one safe and sound in the crib, well rested for the day to begin. Grandma hopes she will feel good today and prepare Grandpa’s breakfast. Hope is our daily bread, a necessity of life.

The essence of hope is captured in the very first word of Psalm 16, “preserve.” Preservation consists of maintaining something in its original or existing state. Literally, the Hebrew word carries the idea of “watching over,” “guarding,” or “protecting.” Jesus taught His disciples to pray for preservation in the model prayer when He said, “In this manner, therefore, pray… Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Mat. 6:13). He also ended that great Sermon with a promise of preservation to those who heed His words and build their house on the rock. At the heart and core of every man’s hope is preservation. Even when there is hope for change, that change is quickly proceeded by a hope for preservation.

Christians should hope for the church. Hope that she will be preserved and grow. Hope that every good work she does in the name of Christ will be watched over and kept. Hope that she will not be subject to criticism like the church in Sardis, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die…” (Rev. 3:2). A church that hopes should never have to be told, “Wake up, you’re getting weak, you’re about to die.” The work of a hopeful church will surely hear Jesus praise, “as for your works, the last are more than the first” (Rev. 2:19)!

We need more hope. David said, “All who hope in the Lord shall be strengthened” (Psa. 31:24). You will be amazed what the Lord can do with you if you just put more hope in Him.

Do you have hope?

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