Thursday, February 15, 2018

Finding the Beautiful Place Called Hope

“Hope is that beautiful place between the way things are and the way things are yet to be. See Hebrews 11:1”

Yesterday, my pastor posted those words on social media. I couldn’t get them out of my head and I began to wonder about the beautiful place of hope. A Scripture search revealed hope to be the most unexpected place imaginable. 

First, a quick history lesson.

Before the battle of Jericho, God decreed that all silver and gold belonged to Him and should be placed in His treasury. This ban remained in place. Joshua and his army fought the battle at Ai, and Achan’s greed defeated them all. (Joshua 7) He saw a beautiful mantle, as well as bars of silver and gold, took them, and hid them. The army of Israel suffered a sound defeat because of his hidden sin.

Ultimately, Achan was tried and found guilty. Joshua took Achan, his family, and all his possessions to the Valley of Achor, where he received his punishment. The entire family of Achan received a sentence of death by stoning, followed by burning to dust. As a result, the valley of Achor became known as the Valley of Trouble.

Trouble Transformed to Hope

God describes this place of judgment as a “door of hope” for His people. (Hosea 2:15) and a resting place for their herds. (Isaiah 65:10) 

The word translated as hope indicates a literal cord or attachment, as well as the ground (or foundation) on which our hope rests. This word describes the scarlet cord Rahab threw out the window for the spies of Israel and on which she and her family depended for their salvation. (Joshua 2;18,21) 

The Psalmist declared his hope in God alone. (Psalm 39:7) Gentiles find their hope in the name of the Messiah, Jesus. (Mtt 12:21) As Christians, we fixed our hope on the living God who is the Savior of all men (! Tim 4:10) The word translated as hope also indicates trust, and the willingness to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence.

Waiting in the Place Between

The beautiful spot between the way things are and the way things are yet to be is the valley of Achor. God transformed the place of judgment into rich pastureland. There, we find the door of hope, the door to all we expect and for which we wait. According to Jesus, He is that door. ( John 10:9)
Even in the hardest and most difficult seasons, we need not fear, Those places of pain are the transition between the ways things are and the way they are yet to be, and Jesus is the door between. In times of trial, we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, press ever closer to Him, and find our hope, our expectation, and our scarlet cord of deliverance in Christ alone. 
It is then that our hope becomes the beautiful place between the way things are and the way things are yet to be. 
Therefore, let us fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13) and wait for Him.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
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