Jesus Forgiver of My Soul!
Psalm 38:15 (NASB)
(15) For I hope in You, O LORD; You will answer, O Lord my God.
For I am patient in You, O Lord; You will answer, O Lord my God.
For I tarry in You, O Lord. Because of Who you are, I have the knowledge and experience that you will answer my prayer.
The psalmist is saying that God “will” answer. He has answered before, and He will answer again. He knows how the Lord works. Based upon his past experience with God, the Lord will come through for him.
To wait with expectation. I know that you will respond like you have in the past. I am tarrying before you because you are the supreme authority over all humanity. Because you are high and lifted up, and you view all things that are happening, you will answer me from your throne. You spoke to him in Jeremiah 33:3 saying for me to call upon you. Your promise says “…I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.
God spoke through Moses in Deuteronomy 29:29 which says: the secret things belong to God. Yet God will reveal these things to some so that we might learn of Him and know the God we serve. There are some things we may never know unless the God of our salvation reveals them. For that reason, we must learn to be silent where the Bible is silent. Where the Bible gives an answer, then we can say what the Bible says.
Check this fact out! In ancient times, ships would have what was known as a “forerunner.” The Greek word is proderomos which means “who went before us”). It was known as the “anchorarius.” [Biblical Counseling Library]. It was in charge of the ship’s main anchor. With a group of sailors, he would carry the anchor by means of a smaller boat into a safe harbor and set it there. The ship remained outside the harbor. It was anchored within. It was held secure against wind and waves. The “forerunner” was the only person chosen to arrive at a designated place before the others in the group. He arrived there for three purposes:
-to give notice of their approach
-to take possession in their name
-to prepare for their arrival
Since Jesus Christ is your forerunner, He is your steadfast hope. He anchors you within the safe harbor of heaven the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. He secures you on earth. He assures you of your eventual safe arrival there. Note what Hebrews 6:19-20
Hebrews 6:19-20 (NASB)
(19) This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, (20) where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
I hope you were blessed by this month’s devotional study. I do not know what May might bring. I am praying about next month’s devotional study. May you find hope in God’s Word for your life.
The reason our hope fails is based in the fact that our concept of hope is wrong. We need to know what Christian hope is and is not.
Christian Hope Is…
Not dependent on another person/group of people–It is dependent upon the Lord alone
Not wishful thinking, vague longing, trying to fulfill a dream–it is assured, unchangeable, and absolute
Not determined by circumstances, events, or abilities–determined by what is already secured and promised
Not merely a desire–delayed fulfillment of reality
Not dependent on the stars, luck, chance, or timing-predestined and settled in the heart and mind of God
Notice Ephesians 1:11: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
Why is it so hard to have hope?
Do we live by the saying: “Seeing is believing?” If hope is so good, we want to see it. Yet we call ourselves “faith people.” Doubting Thomas was like this. He refused to have hope that Jesus had been resurrected and seen by the apostles. Notice his statement:
“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
When Jesus appeared a week later, doubting Thomas became believing Thomas for he saw with his own eyes. This is evident by his response: “My Lord and my God!” Note Jesus’ response: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” John 20:25-29. Jesus loved Thomas so much that He revealed Himself to Thomas.
Are we walking in faith when it comes to our hope? On the other hand, are we really walking by sight? Note with me Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Not seen–yet hoped for. The NASB says the following: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Notice the word “assurance.” It is not a dead promise. It is alive and powerful. Let us look at the original Greek language of this verse. I desire that you grasp this verse so that your faith may grow.
Christ is not simply the ground upon which it is based, but the sphere and element in which the hope is placed. Assurance. Even so, faith (pistis noun) (belief, fidelity.) Assurance is used once in the NASB. It means persuasion, credence, moral conviction of religious truth. The truthfulness of God. It is reliance upon Christ for salvation. It is also abstract constancy in such profession.
When it comes to confidence, that which stands, foundation beginning, leads one. Substance has to do with the very image. As can be seen in these meanings of the original language, this is a loaded verse.
The Bible gives us hope, but we must use it. We must learn verses from the Bible in order to win the victory over hopelessness. Regaining a hopeful outlook on life is not difficult if we rely upon God’s Word. We must not focus on the storm, but on the hope of God. God can give you hope in the midst of the storm. Hope is anchored in God’s character. For this reason, we must learn to meditate on God’s unfailing promises. You will gain all the stability you need to go through to victory. Note Jeremiah 29:11:
“I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
I need to ask you a question at this point. Do you know the genuineness of the God you serve? Do you realize that He does and will remain faithful to you and His Word? His Word never fails. Do you know how to experience such a hope that will anchor you through any storm? You and I must put our hope in Him. Note what Lamentations 3:24 says: “The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”
Look at the situation accurately verses 19-20
Line up your thinking with what gives you hope verse 21
Learn what gives hope in the midst of this situation verse 22
Linger on this fact: Every day God will be faithful to you verse 23
Let the Lord fulfill you totally–not just partially verse 24
Lean on this truth to receive hope for your heart verse 25
We can experience pain by placing all of our hope in a person or position. You can fill the blank on other things that you have placed your hope. We find ourselves disappointed and deceived. What makes the deception terrible is the fact that it is self-deception. Earthly anchors are possessions, popularity, power or position. These things were never designed to be anchors for life. Note 2 Corinthians 4:18:
“We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Temporary things are just that–temporary. These things/people are anchored in shifting sand…
“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain
came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:26-27
We accept various secular anchors. These “anchors” can replace the anchor that is in Jesus Christ. I would like to discuss a few with you now.
This “anchor” results in loss of hope when the political system crumbles.
“The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.” Psalm 9:15
Loss of hope when resources of the economy weaken
“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other: Therefore, a man cannot d discover anything about his future.
Society rejects God’s moral standard
“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.”
Loss of hope when the legal system fails
“Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge uprightly among men? No, in your heart you devise injustice,and your hands mete out violence on the earth.” Psalm 58:1-2
Results in loss of hope when work is not meaningful
“There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was
no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For
whom am I toiling,’ he asked, ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless–a miserable business!” Ecclesiastes 4:8
Loss of hope when the body deteriorates
“My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.” Psalm 38:7
Loss of hope when circumstances cause a monetary loss
“Riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. “Proverbs
Loss of hope when a spouse is not faithful
“The Lord is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife
of your marriage covenant.” Malachi 2:14
These are just some of the secular things that we that we place our hope in. They fail us every time. This shows that even marriage is not lasting.
Have you ever in your life felt shipwrecked spiritually? If you do not have the right anchor in the storm, your ship capsized. It may have crashed on the rocks. On the other hand, were you anchorless? Having the wrong anchor or having no anchor at all caused your ruin. If you are living your life without Jesus Christ, you are shipwrecked. You may feel disconnected, displaced, and distraught. If this is the case, note I Timothy 1:19:
“Holding on to faith and a good conscience.
Some have rejected these and so have
shipwrecked their faith.”
Do You Look…
Drained? Drowning with exhaustion
Debilitated? Depleted of energy and strength
Disinterested? Drifting on a sea of apathy
Defeated? Deadlocked from moving forward, feeling like a failure
Disgusted? Down on life and pessimistic about living
Disconnected? Divorced from meaningful people and purpose
Despondent? Deteriorating in appearance and emotionally withdrawn
Displaced? Driven to end dreams, end emotions, and end life
If this is you, please read on for God is on your side.
Someone might be saying: “I see no future for my life. How can I go on”? The Answer is: You can go because God purposefully created your life. He is always watching over you. Because of His unfailing love, you can always put your hope in the future He has planned for you. Note the following verse:
“The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his
Characteristics of Misplaced Hope
Anchors come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. They are used to stabilize different objects in the water. A small anchor, if used correctly, can stabilize a large ship. An example of this is a 45-pound anchor can stabilize a 4,000-pound ship [Solarnavigator, “Anchor History and Development,” Solarnavigator, 2005, http://www.solarnativator.net/anchors.htm.] The choice of the anchor is based upon the size and weight of the ship. Weather and water bottom must also be considered. A ship will set sail with various anchors on board. Some have referred to different anchors in the following categories: lunch, working and storm.
- The lunch anchor is dropped into the water of a bay to keep the ship in place for a short period.
- The working anchor is the ship’s main anchor.
- The storm anchors (both bow and stern) are put out when the ship encounters a severe storm. [David Brown, “All About Anchors: A Complete Guide to Anchor Gear Selection,” Boats.com, 1996, http://www.boats.com/boat– articles/Anchoring+Equipment-100/All+About+Anchors/2179.html.
The storm anchor is needed in all our lives. At different times, we will be going through a storm or coming out of one. When your life is anchored in Jesus Christ–the storm will not destroy you. You will be stabilized by the Lord until the storm passes by. Note Proverbs 10:25.
“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.”
What are Inner Feelings of Hopelessness?
Were you ever looking for your own safe harbor, and felt hopeless? The purpose of an anchor is constructed to stabilize a vessel. It does this in order to keep it from drifting into other vessels in a harbor. Its other purpose is to keep the boat from capsizing the rough waters.
If our spiritual lives have drifted off course, this is how we feel. We may feel emotionally overwhelmed. We must be anchored in the promises of Christ. (We must read about these promises in order to be anchored in them.) If we are not anchored in Jesus and His promises, we will sink into a sea of hopelessness. What is our commitment in this?
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23.
Do You Feel…?
- Deceived? Duped by someone you trusted
- Disliked? Deeming yourself unwanted by others?
- Dejected? Dull, flat, and emotionally stuck
- Deadened? Dry, numb, and lifeless
- Downcast? Downhearted, assuming life will never change
- Deprived? Discriminated against with no chance to succeed
- Disqualified? Discounting that you have value
- Degraded? Demeaned and belittled by others
- Detached? Discarded by God and separated from others
- Doomed? Damned or trapped with no way out
Have you ever thought the following: “So many significant people have let me down. How can I live my life with any hope at all?
The Answer: People will fail people. This is even more reason you should place your hope in God. He will never fail you. He is your unshakable rock and refuge.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress,
I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor
depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.”
Meditate on this verse for a few minutes. This is your promise and your hope.
I’d rather have Jesus!
I’d rather have the Lord!
I’d rather have Jesus—than this whole wide world!
Today the sun is shining, but it is cold outside. I know. For Southport, North Carolina, it is a little strange. The weather over the weekend was beautiful. We were in the seventies on Sunday. That is life. You and I have to take the good with the bad, and take it all in stride.
What do I mean by “taking it all in stride?” We know we have a hope that goes beyond the grave. Sometimes we have to accept life the way it is. We can also pray to our Father, which is in Heaven. We can ask the Lord to carry us through those difficult days. We may live in this world, but we are not of this world. We are sojourners. We are just passing through. This world is not our home. Our citizenship is in Heaven.
When you face a “life challenge,” do not be discouraged! He promised never to leave you…never to leave you alone! Matthew 28:20.