THE CERTAINTY OF GOD'S PROMISES Devotion 12 of 16 THE HOPE SET BEFORE US " . . . who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" (Heb 6:18). -- Tomorrow:
"For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise." (Hebrews 6:13-15).
The objective of the "strong consolation" is that we might fully appropriate the "hope" – that "we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us." Here, "the hope" stands for the OBJECT of the hope that dominates our hearts.
From the standpoint of a Person, "the hope" is the Lord Jesus Himself. As it is written, "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27). It was in this sense that Paul abandoned every competing interest that he might "win Christ, or "gain Christ." Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ" (Phil 3:8). He further elaborated on winning Christ in the following words: "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings" (Phil 3:10). To "lay hold" on the hope, therefore, is to appropriate unhindered fellowship with Christ. If this is not accomplished, all other pursuits become pointless.
Viewed from the standpoint of personal experience, this "hope" is the fervent anticipation of becoming like Jesus. As it is written, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3). Here, laying hold on the hope is to engage in a fervent quest to be transformed into Christ's likeness at His coming (Col 3:4).
The hope which those coming to Jesus are seeking to appropriate can also be viewed from the standpoint of the purpose of God – the objective of our calling. This is called the "hope of His calling." Paul prayed the Lord open the understanding of those in Christ to see this objective. "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints" (Eph 1:15-18). He knew that men would not pursue this hope if they were not aware of its magnitude and reality. This hope is the reason why God called them "into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Cor 1:9).
From yet another view, this hope is gaining the inheritance that is presently reserved for us in heaven. This is the inheritance for which the new birth has suited us. As it is written, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Pet 1:4).
In Christ we are called TO something that transcends anything ever conceived in the hearts of men! The grandest aspirations of humanity have not touched the magnitude of this hope. As it is written, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor 2:9; Isa 64:4). We have not simply been called out of debilitating bondage to sin. We have been called into glorious liberty. And still, that is not all. We have also been called to "inherit a blessing"--one that is eternal (1 Pet 3:9).
The truth of the matter is that we have "fled for refuge to lay hold" of this hope.
PRAYER POINT: Father, in the name of Jesus I thank You for the marvelous and satisfying prospect of a glorious future with You through Jesus Christ. I confess that He is my Lord.
Devotion 12 of 16
THE HOPE SET BEFORE US
" . . . who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" (Heb 6:18).
-- Tomorrow:FLED FOR REFUGE --