2 Timothy 3:1 says, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Those perilous times are escalating at an alarming rate. Is there hope of making it through? Is there hope in the darkness that envelops us? Of course there is. Our Hope is Jesus.
Hope is simply defined as the confident expectation of good. Hope that is sure and steadfast must be based on something or someone established, solid and secure, or our hope is in vain. What is the basis of your hope today?
Most people hope for specific things, but in general categories such as a dream to come to pass, a prosperous life, a promising future or for certain relationships to develop. The foundation of their hope may be based on their ability to develop the right connections, hard work, being part of a wealthy family or manipulating conditions to make them favorable for their desired outcome. But those foundations are only temporary at best and are vulnerable to the shifting of outward circumstances. If we want a firm foundation that is unchanging and immoveable, we can place our hope in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the hope that keeps our souls anchored securely no matter what comes our way. He is the “hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast” (Hebrews 5:19) Our hope in Him surpasses anything our reasoning or emotions may tell us.
During one of those times when I felt everything was falling apart (because I was listening to the message from my reasoning and emotions), the following hymn kept playing through my mind. I looked it up and found the words to be stabilizing and comforting because they pointed to Jesus. The hymn is “The Solid Rock.”
It begins like this: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.” When we choose to base our hope on something less than Jesus, we set ourselves up for a fall. Any other hope is inferior. Only through Jesus’ blood can we be cleansed from our sins and reconciled to God. The sacrifice Jesus made sealed our redemption. We can overcome the enemy (Satan and every evil spirit) by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11) If we trust in another way, we will be disappointed in the end. We need to make up our minds and establish our hearts to have Jesus and Him alone as the basis of our hope.
Verse 2: “When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.” It is easy to rest in Him when we feel His presence and His light is shining brightly on our paths. However times will come when it seems He isn’t there and the light on our path is small, showing us only the step we are on. It is then we must remind ourselves of His unchanging grace and be assured His Word is true. When darkness sets in on us and we cannot sense His presence or hear His voice, we can rest in the fact that He is there. When the storms overwhelm us, we can be assured by His Word that our roots are still firmly planted in Him – the One Who seemingly has a veil between us and Him. Although we feel we are outside the veil, our roots are still within the veil. Our strength still has the same Source. Reading the Bible during those times will reassure us of our place in Him and His place in us.
Verse 3: “His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood. When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.” What God said He will do, He will do. He never breaks covenant. The covenant He made with us was with the blood of His own Son. So, when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will raise up the banner that claims us as His territory and represents the power and authority of our God. (See Isaiah 59:19.) He draws a line around us that the enemy cannot cross. If our souls (our mind, our will and our emotions) are being battered by spiritual warfare against us, we can remember God’s covenant with us and know He will come to our rescue.
Verse 4: “When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found; Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.” This is our ultimate goal. But it doesn’t just automatically come to pass. If we want to be faultless when we stand before the throne, we need to live on this earth in such a way that it will be natural for our next step to cross the boundary between earth and heaven to meet Him when the trumpet sounds. Then we will be unencumbered by the pull of the world, the flesh and the devil. If we are not walking according to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and His Word in the earth, neither will we walk with Him in heaven. We can do that only by losing our lives in this world to gain them in the Spirit. Those who choose Jesus above every earthly charm have that blessed hope of salvation and eternal life. “Whosoever” comes to Jesus will stand faultless before His throne. The word ‘come’ means to move from ‘here’ to ‘there’ – from the natural to the spiritual realm.
Are you facing temptations, confusion, storms or disappointments? Stand firmly on Christ, the Solid Rock. How do we stand on Him? Learn the teachings of Jesus, cling to them and live by them. His Word will stand when the whole earth crumbles, because Jesus is the Word.
Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
Although this is a well known passage of Scripture, it is not widely obeyed. We read it and we like to envision ourselves as the wise person who chose to have the right foundation, but few actually build their lives on the foundation of Jesus teachings. Do we even know His teachings? Many of them are difficult and go against the grain of our ‘American Dream’ mentality. We all want to believe the promises of God, but few want to base their lives on His teachings.
If we want to keep from sinking into the flood of evil around us, we must not only hear Jesus’ teachings, but put them into practice in our lives on a daily basis – the easy teachings and the difficult ones. If you go through your Bible and read the words Jesus spoke while He was on this earth, you will be amazed how many of those teachings we are not following. Go back, take a fresh look, and don’t allow his words to become twisted in your mind to conform to the viewpoint of our culture. Jesus’ teachings are God’s words to us individually. They were true when Jesus spoke them 2000 years ago, and they are just as true for you and me today. Let’s make it our determination to build on the Solid Rock.
Jesus is the solid Rock. Building our lives on this Rock ensures that we are daily in His presence, His protection, His guidance, His wisdom, His provision, and everything else we need. It doesn’t guarantee we can have everything we want, but He gives us all we need and more.
“On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.”
ONE MORE THOUGHT:
Moses asked to see God’s glory, but God told him no flesh could see His face and live. However, God said He would reveal Himself in part. “And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place beside Me, and you shall stand upon the rock, And while My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away My hand and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:21-23)
Jesus Christ is that Rock. When we stand on Him, we can see the manifest presence of God; not in the fullness with which we will see Him in heaven, but we can stand in His presence even in the earth. Unless we build our lives on Jesus, we will never see the glory of God.
When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the Temple was torn from top to bottom, opening the Holy of holies, the place of God’s presence, to those who would receive cleansing through Jesus’ blood. Only through His sacrifice can we enter into the presence of God beyond the veil.
“[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil.” Hebrews 6:19 (Amplified)
Have you asked to see God’s glory? Stand upon the Rock.