- The 23rd Psalm Series
- The Lord is my Shepherd – That’s Relationship!
- I shall not want – That’s Supply!
- He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – That’s Rest!
- He leadeth me beside the still waters – That’s Refreshment!
- He restoreth my soul – That’s Healing!
- He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness – That’s Guidance!
- For His Name’s Sake – That’s Purpose
- Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – That’s Testing!
- I Shall Fear No Evil – That’s Protection
- For Thou art with me — That’s Faithfulness!
- Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me – That’s Discipline
- Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – That’s Hope!
- Thou annointest my head with oil – That’s Consecration!
- My cup runneth over – That’s Abundance!
- And I will dwell in the house of the Lord —–That’s Security!
- Forever – That’s Eternity!
THE SECURITY OF HOPE
I IT IS OF THE NATURE OF HOPE TO GIVE A SENSE OF SECURITY.
If a man thinks himself safe, he will go forward confidently; if he expects he can win, he will throw his energy into what he is doing; if he is sure of victory, he will not shrink from the foe. When hope has faded out of a man”s life, he may still pursue his course with the doggedness of despair; but his step has lost its elasticity and his eye its fire.
II HOPE TENDS TO CREATE REAL SECURITY.
The loss of confidence is itself a weakness. When we expect to fail, we prepare failure for ourselves. On the other hand, a calm, fearless progress makes for success. There is a foolish sanguineness which only dreams of the joys that are to drop into one”s lap unsought and unearned. But a true and sensible hope will not be thus blind and indolent. It will be the inspiration of effort. If we have hopes of victory over sin and of a useful Christian life, we are spurred on to attempt to realize them. Hope is necessary in Christian work. A hopeless missionary is not likely to be very fruitful.
III A BASELESS HOPE LEADS TO A FALSE SECURITY.
Hope may be a mere snare. Possibly the sanguine man is living in a fool”s paradise. His hope may be altogether without foundation, and if so, in trusting to it he will only sink down to ruin. We need to have a reason for the hope that is in us. (1Pe 3:15) Safety is not proportionate to confidence. Although, as we have just seen, hope simply as a subjective feeling does tend to victory, yet if it is quite groundless, its tendency will not be strong enough to overcome tangible obstacles.
IV CHRIST HAS GIVEN TO US A TRUE AND INSPIRING HOPE.
1. It is true. Christ does not content himself with soothing our fears and instilling a sense of restfulness and confidence. That would be a fatal course, like drugging a patient with morphia instead of curing his disease. But when Christ instills the feeling of hope, he does so by setting before us good reasons for hope. The Christian hope is based on the revelation of God”s love, on the atoning work of our Lord, on his resurrection and triumph. He is our Hope, (Col 1:27) and all that gives worth to him and his work gives weight to the Christian hope.
2. It is inspiring. The great hope of Christ is that sin shall be conquered and the kingdom of heaven come in power.
(a) This is inspiring to the individual. No one of us need be satisfied with a low tone of Christian life. It is open to all to rise to great heights of holiness and fruitful living. The hope is in Christ, not in ourselves; and his resources are unlimited, his riches unsearchable. (Eph 3:8)
(b) This is also inspiring for the Church. The weary battle of the ages is destined to ultimate victory. Christ, not the devil, must triumph at last. Difficulties press upon us and discouragements grow thick around us, yet the cause of God cannot fail The promise of victory should inspire the hope which helps forward the accomplishment.