God of My Hope

Homeless%20DinnerLukewarm.  Wretched. Miserable.  Poor.

Revelation chapter 3 paints a desperate picture regarding the people of Laodicea.  Have you not heard condemnatory messages about this, designed to riddle hearts with spiritual shrapnel and load the aisles with penitents?  But, have those messages provided the hope this context offers?  Look:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

On this passage, John Gill wrote,

and this is the blessing promised the overcomers in the Laodicean state, that when Christ shall set up his kingdom among men, and reign gloriously before his ancients, they shall sit on the same throne with him, or share with him in his kingdom and glory;

Oh, friends.  Ours is the God of hope and astounding beneficence.  His heart yearns for us to overcome through Him, to walk in the light as He is in the light so that we might have fellowship, one with another–all through the cleansing power of the blood.  The apostle Peter’s is such a story.  Even before his denial, while he was full of bravado, the Lord Jesus issued this hope-full warning in Luke 22:

31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

All the while knowing Peter would fail, Christ prays for him (I have been equally amazed at His addressing Judas as “friend”…haven’t you?).  How unlike us.  If we were privy to the knowledge that a confidant was going to bail out on us, we’d drop him like a hot potato, rue the day we met him, and shake the dust off our feet as we left his presence, with a “good riddance” on our lips.  Yet, knowing that resurrection power will “resurrect” Peter for future ministry, our great Savior looks past the impetuous claims and the cowardly denials to see the powerful preacher he would one day become.  “Strengthen your brothers”…don’t despair…you’ll soon be useful again.  I am praying for you.  I will forgive.

He prays for you too.  Look at John 17, because you are there.

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.~Romans 15:13

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