This article has been created for Slingshot Christian Products. Their Christian Apparel can be purchased online at their store www.slingshotchristianproducts.com and they can be reached at 1-800-930-5491. This article is about hope, but more specifically that hope anchors the soul. What a statement to make and to declare over your life. But really, that statement comes down to a central question. Albeit a very important, foundation altering question. But isn’t that so often the case. We have a saying; “If you’re asking the wrong question, rarely will you get the right answer!” And that’s true for us all. The right, simple question may alter the course of your life. The most intelligently constructed, complex question, if it is the wrong one, will have little to no impact. So here is the simple, defining question: What is that Hope!?
To some, their hope is quite simply hope itself. This is a treacherous place to plant yourself. To simply hope in hope itself is, by definition, cyclical. It never gives substance to that in which we hope for. And yet, are we not all guilty of doing this very thing at some point and somehow? Consider retirement savings. Studies would show that a gravely large percent of the population is not saving sufficiently for retirement. And somehow those people are likely irrationally hopeful that they will go through that stage in life smoothly. There is little substance to that hope, yet they are still hopeful. I concede that I am painting a vastly generalized picture for this point, nonetheless, I’m sure you get the idea.
Another option is to simply hope in oneself. We do this all the time. And dare I say our society reinforces this perspective more and more. We gain confidence and become increasingly confident in our own abilities and in doing so we make ourselves the basis of our hope. We place the weight of the world on our incapable human sized shoulders. I’m sure you’ve done it before as have I. In the midst of my problem I make myself the solution. There are significant issues with this approach as well. The most obvious, when we’re speaking about hope, is that hope is connected to the future. And therein lays the problem. How does one put our hope for the future into the hands of one that knows nothing of the future? That is a cataclysmic problem, my friends! At least when we are trusting in ‘hope itself’ we can imagine that there is some aspect of fate, or a ‘balance’ to all things in the future relative to our past. Even as weak as that sounds, it is still better than placing myself as the center of my hope for the future. Little me, who couldn’t even tell you where I will be in the next 5 months let alone the next 5 years, let alone the next 5 decades. Again, I’m sure you get the idea.
When we place our Hope in God, everything changes. In fact if our Hope is found rooted solid in the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the pressure comes off of our shoulders and the weight of our unknown futures rest in the hands of one who actually knows the future. Who can see the things we cannot see. The One, who created all things, sees all things and knows all things.
But we can go even one step beyond this. At the fall, when Adam and Eve chose their will over God’s, hope became lost. Lost was the original design. The design that allowed God, a truly Holy and fully righteous being to co-exist with His free-willed creation. Man had seen good and evil, the ability of which was necessary to be truly of free will, and had chosen the temptation over the loving protection of the Father. The future that had been planned for the creation was dashed. The beautiful world where God and man walked together, talked together, looked into each other’s eyes was, in a word, gone.
Think of the impact that had. Better yet, think of the impact that it still has. When mankind said “I want to be the one holding the knowledge of good and evil. I want to be the director of our collective fate.” No wonder God said “…for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” We have. Physically, millions have died, tragically. Our social conscience has died over and over again through history. Our moral compass has been suffering ever since.
Hope was lost that day in the garden. But there’s good news. God saw it coming, miles away. Before He ever created mankind he knew that the cost would be great. And yet He still decided to create, because there was a way to redeem it all. There was a way to restore creation to the beautiful picture it was intended to be right from the beginning. Jesus would sacrifice Himself, perfect and blameless, to atone for mankind’s sin. Reset history and restore the relationship between a perfect being and His imperfect creation.
Heb. 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Jesus became our Hope. Not only did He give us a hope and a future, but more than that, He became it. Jesus embodied it. He is our Hope. He is the Hope. Isn’t that an awesome thought? We have not merely been given a hope, but instead we have been given a Savior who became our Hope!
So to put on Christian Apparel that declares the truths of the Gospel is not merely stating some catchy phrase. This is why our motto is Design With Influence. The gospel influences.
Jesus, our Hope, He anchors our soul.
We are anchored from being thrashed about by the waves of life, anchored from the squalls of deceit and accusation. It is not a feeling that is our anchor. It is not our confidence, nor our experience.
This is Hope, our Hope. He is Jesus Christ.