'In Christ alone
my hope is found'
23rd August 2020
'for he who promised is faithful'
'Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for he who promised is faithful.'
.. Hebrews 10:23
Driving back from shopping,
listening to UCB2
I heard my favourite of all worship songs 'In Christ alone'.
I find it incredibly powerful and when the last verse was sung,
I felt a tingle down my spine.
Written in 2002 it is the first song Stuart Townsend
and Keith Getty wrote, together, and cemented
a lasting friendship and collaboration;
some partnerships just gel with amazing results.
Hope is a precious word.
Wikipedia defines hope as:
'an optimistic state of mind
that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes
with respect to events and circumstances in one's life
or the world at large.
As a verb, its definitions include:
"expect with confidence" and
"to cherish a desire with anticipation.'
a Christian evangelist,
founder and director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol
and one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren movement wrote;
'There is never a time when we may not hope in God!
Whatever the necessity,
however great the difficulties,
and though to all appearances help is impossible,
yet our business is to hope in God,
and it will be found that it is not in vain.'
In Isaiah we read
'but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.' (40:31)
Are you feeling lost, confused?
Are you finding this Corona virus epidemic
draining your inner resources;
confused by the conflicting statements and restrictions?
Are you believing that the solution cannot be resolved,
that a vaccine will never be found?
take time to pass this problem over to God and trust,
he is already working into the situation,
guiding the medics to find cures
so far fewer people are dying
and giving wisdom to those looking for a vaccine.
And no, God has not caused this epidemic
as I have heard suggested;
it is humanity who is mis-using and abusing his creation.
'Faith is not a once-done act,
but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God.'
We need to depend on God's faithfulness;
because God is, we have hope,
we can remain confident that he is our light,
even in the darkest of days.
He has an endless supply of compassion and love
and his everlasting arms are there to sustain us.
We can be certain that he is watching over us day by day.
Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans
'And hope does not put us to shame,
because God's love has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit,
who has been given to us.'
To return to this wonderful hymn;
it can be used as a great teaching resource,
for in it are the foundations of what we believe in Christ,
the God who changed all of history
and who wants a relationship with each us.
It sets out the whole life of Christ and what it meant;
it fires people with hope
that here is the God who even death cannot hold.
"No guilt in life,
no fear in death,
this is the power of Christ in me".
To know that Christ purposefully gave his life for us helps us to understand that he is in control.
Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid
We can picture Christ standing in victory,
the image of sin's grip being broken
and the promise that we are his and knowing that he,
in fact, is ours, brings him incredibly close to us.
Here in the death of Christ I [we] live.
You may Listen to the 'Video' (of the hymn)
see 'button' below