Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Having an unshakable hope (Hebrews 6:19) - the "hope against all hope" with a story from the life of Alexander the Great.

SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 6:9-20 (vs. 19) (TM)
It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God

As Alexander the Great was setting out on his conquest of Asia, he inquired into the finances of his followers. To ensure that they would not be troubled over the welfare of their dependents during their absence, he distributed crown estates and revenues among them. When he had thus disposed of nearly all the royal resources, his friend General Perdiccas asked Alexander what he had reserved for himself. "Hope," answered the king.
"In that case," said Perdiccas, "we who share in your labors will also take part in your hopes." He then refused the estate allotted to him, and several other of the king's friends did the same. 

The New Year arrived. Resolutions have been made. The list is long for some, short for others and none existent for a few. Most of these resolutions will be broken within a matter of a few weeks or a few months … thus the fact of the “non-existent” few. “Why bother I’m just going to break them anyway” is often heard, but in the back of their minds there is still a short list of “wishes” of what might be in their life or lifestyle.

It is at this point that the “hope against all hope” becomes a reality. Some “hope” that their lottery picks will eventually win the big prize. Some “hope” that Publishers House will show up at their door with the promise of $5,000 for life. Some go so far as to make a wish and then “cross their heart and hope to die”. Thus is the state of most of our lives. We have our hopes, our wishes, our goals, our “to-do lists,” our dreams and our aspirations.

“We have this hope”, reads the beginning of verse 9 … “an unbreakable spiritual lifeline.” It got me thinking … combining the concept of New Year Resolutions along with the hope of Christ – the unbreakable spiritual lifeline … and the thought came: What would we attempt this year if we knew that we would not fail … absolutely couldn’t fail … the cards of fate were stacked in our favor … our lives would have the “Midas touch” of accomplishments.

If our leader, like Alexander the Great, has an unquestionable determination and an unshakable hope of success how would it directly affect us? Well, the Hebrews 6 selection for today reminds us that we follow such a leader. Jesus has the “hope against all hope” attitude. He brings the “unbreakable spiritual lifeline” to the discussion of discipleship. He believes in the future – our future – and that we will be successful in all that we attempt to do in his name and following his purpose. This is called God-sizing our dreams, our hopes, our wishes, our desires.

Jesus’ hope lies in the knowledge of our hearts and the unshakable power of the Holy Spirit. Not for our own personal success, but the victory of the Kingdom … because we are Kingdom people and Hallelujah is our song. The Hallelujah song of victory will be sung by our hearts as we step forward with God’s New Year’s Resolution for each of us to be freed from the griping fear of failure so that we accomplish great things for God.

As the motto of my undergraduate school read: “Attempt Great Things for God. Expect Great Things from God.” May it be so!

Great and powerful God free us from the fear of failure. Grant to our hearts this unshakable hope – an unbreakable spiritual lifeline so that we will attempt great things for you and your Kingdom this year!

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