Living Out our Hope; March 21, 2022

Psalm 52:9 I will praise you forever for what you have done;
in your name I will hope, for your name is good.
I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

It is interesting when the Psalms are given context. This one says it was written in response to Doeg the Edomite, a thoroughly nasty guy who comes into the narrative in 1 Samuel 21 and 22. 22:18 says he killed 85 priests! However, in this Psalm responding to the situation with Doeg, David turns things around to focus on God. Once again the difference between the NIV and the Japanese is interesting. Rather than saying “I will praise you in the presence of your saints,” the Japanese  says, “I will wait in hope for you in the presence of your saints.” God is honored when we praise Him, but He is also honored when it is clearly obvious that our hope is in Him, rather than in any merely human source. Sometimes motives are unknown, but sometimes they are as plain as day. I’m reminded of the hymn, Let Others See Jesus in You. When we are living our lives in right relationship to God, people will take notice, and Peter says that our hope will be particularly interesting to them. (1 Peter 3:15) That’s because so many people don’t have any real hope, and certainly not the hope of eternal life that is available only by faith in Christ. We would do well to examine ourselves to see if we are living out the hope that we profess to have, because we can get distracted from it if we aren’t careful. Society around us doesn’t have that hope, and we have the constant temptation to adapt to it, being influenced rather than being influencers. Paul tells us clearly not to do that! (Romans 12:2) Only then will the hope that we have draw others to faith.

Naturally, I’m talking to myself here! I am amused that MS Word flagged the word “draw” just above, because it is very much part of the world system, and so doesn’t understand hope drawing people to faith. That should be all the more motivation for me to live out the hope that I have! I will confess to “toning down my witness” at times to avoid offending others, fearing coming across as “holier than thou.” I’m not to be proud, but I’m not to fear anything! I am to be sincere in all I say and do. I think the currently popular term would be “authentic.” I’m not to offend deliberately, but I’m not to apologize for my faith, rather I am to live it out boldly. My hope needs to be on display!

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You did yesterday. Thank You that my digestive emergency didn’t work out any worse than it did. Thank You especially for the beautiful fellowship we had all the way around. Thank You for the family that You have so clearly led and planted here, and thank You for the couple that came and saw what we have as members of Your family. I pray that they would grow in their hunger for what they saw in us, and come to faith and commitment themselves. May all of Your plans for this church be fulfilled, on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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