I Peter 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
This morning in rapid succession, two of my precious ones mentioned Oswald Chambers' April 29 entry in My Utmost for His Highest - my beloved husband Philippe and my longtime dear friend Donna. Having devoured this daily devotional for over 30 years, I have seen the Holy Spirit breathe new life into these timeless words over and over. Today was no exception; in fact, my recent circumstances underscored and highlighted them with fresh clarity:
"Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life; gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways; we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God."
Two weeks and one day ago, I was quite uncertain of what my circumstances would be. Would I awaken from surgery with the best-case or worst-case medical scenario? Would I then be facing chemo and/or radiation? Would my body be wracked with excruciating pain? All of these questions entered my mind, sometimes bombarding me with the what-ifs. But I took heart as I was reminded of the suffering of Jesus and His prayer to our Father: "Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done." I continually drew on the strength and faith of the body of Christ surrounding me, knowing that your prayers were rising like incense before His throne and would release God's power and glory into my circumstances. I leaned into the presence of the living Christ in me, the One who walks with me through everything I do and promises that He will work it all together for good. I trusted in those whom He had appointed and anointed to care for me, knowing that they too were being uplifted by the prayers of the people of God. I chose to take Him at His word that declares I am healed by His stripes. I was uncertain of my circumstances - but completely certain of my Lord.
The apostle Peter reminds us that we have a LIVING HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and an eternal inheritance that is incorruptible. The author of Hebrews calls this hope "an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf." (Hebrews 6:19-20)
WHAT IF...we were to live each moment of our lives through the eyes of our Living Hope - Christ in us, the hope of glory?
WHAT IF...we were to realize that this hope of our eternal inheritance is available to us right now, on earth as it is in heaven?
WHAT IF...we really chose to believe that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, character produces hope - and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love for us through His Holy Spirit whom He has given to us?
Today, let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Let us walk together with childlike faith, that gracious uncertainty that carries the expectation of those things that are exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can ask or even imagine. To God be the glory!