Where is your hope??

Hope. Without it we cannot survive as human beings. It is one of the apostle Paul’s big three to last into eternity. “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Hope is eternal. When everything else falls away, faith, hope and love will still be there. In Romans chapter 4 Paul tells us that Abraham became the father of faith because he had a great hope kept him going when everything else seemed to have failed. “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans‬ ‭4:18-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬. When Sarah laughed, Abraham hoped. Instead of looking at what he could see and know – his old, tired body – Abraham placed his hope in the promise made by God. Because of Abrahams hope, we can all be counted as the children of God today.
In John Chapter 5, we see a story of hope. It’s a story not only of hope, but also grace and redemption, and it is powerful.


“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. So we see this scene here – some manuscripts add “and they waited for the moving of the waters. From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.” We have a healing pool, a pool believed by many to have the power to heal. And there are many gathered around this pool at all times, waiting for the angel to come and stir the waters in the hopes that they can be first in the water and be healed.


One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” Think about that – there is a man here who’s been sick or disabled for thirty- eight years, waiting, hoping, to get healed by these waters. I don’t know how often these waters are stirred up, but I’m assuming it must be on a regular basis. How many people has this man seen healed by these waters? How often has he seen someone else’s hopes realized by getting into the pool sick and leaving the pool healed?
So, Jesus shows up. The savior of the world, the lamb of God sent to take away the sins of the world, that guy. And for some reason, out of the multitudes laying around this pool suffering, he sees this man who’s been there for decades. And Jesus asks the man a very simple, direct question – “Do you want to be healed?” Of course the man is going to say “Yes. I want to be healed!! I’ve been laying here for thirty-eight years waiting for healing!!” Right??!!


The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Do you see what’s going on here?? The savior of the world just asked this man if he wants to be healed, and he’s talking about not being able to get into the pool. For thirty-eight years, he’s been stuck in his own pity party. He’s always a day late and a dollar short. Just been so unlucky for all those years.
He’s put all of his hope for healing into being able to get into that pool. He’s been so focused on this pool, and the fact that he’s never able to beat everyone into it, that he can’t grasp the fact that the hope of the world is standing right next to him.
I believe he’s just dying to ask Jesus to actually stay and help him into the pool, but is just afraid to ask. He’s already decided for himself exactly HOW he’s going to healed, exactly how he’s going to fix his problem. His hope is in those stirring waters, and if he can just get Jesus to help him into the water, then everything will work out great.


Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. What does Jesus not do here? Jesus does not condemn the man for putting his hope in the waters. He doesn’t chastise the man for not placing his hope in Jesus. He simply has mercy and heals him.
So here’s the question on this day – where do you put your hope? We know that Jesus is both omniscient and omnipresent. He knows all and sees all. He’s with us always. He with you always. He is right next to you, and He wants to know – “Do you want to be healed?”  



So where is your hope? What is it that is going to heal you? Are you hoping in Jesus? Or are you just going to ask Him to help you get your solution, which you’ve already worked out in your own mind, and are working with your own power, to get?


Is it a relationship? If you could just be friends with that guy, or marry that right person, everything would be great. Maybe your hope is in an address – if you can get the right apartment, or buy that big house you’re dreaming about, life will then be just right. Maybe if you get the right car.

Maybe your hope is in your sports team.  Maybe if the Cubs win the series…all our problems will go away!!


Maybe your hope is in guns, in our homeland security department, our standing army, our bombs. Maybe your hope is in our economy. Maybe it’s in getting that promotion at work. “Jesus, I really deserve this job, but someone else in front of me always gets in first!!” Maybe your hope is getting more money into that 401(k), more into that Roth IRA.
Maybe on this Election Day your hope is that the right person will be elected president today, then you will have healing. If we can just get Jesus to help put the right political party in power. Because we all know that the right president or the right congress can make us healed.


The psalmist tells us differently. “The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭33:16-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Jesus stands right by your side. He knows what your hoping in. He knows it’s (probably) not Him. He’s not mad about it. But He’s asking you the question “Do you want to be healed?”    

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬ 

http://bible.com/59/1co.13.13.esv

“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.
One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.”

‭‭John‬ ‭5:1-3, 5-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/jhn.5.1-3,5-9.esv
“The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭33:16-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

http://bible.com/59/psa.33.16-22.esv

John Lewis

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5 thoughts on “Where is your hope??

  1. I especially like your views on the man at the pool. You bring up several points that I never saw before. Especially “He’s already decided for himself exactly HOW he’s going to healed, exactly how he’s going to fix his problem.” How many of us have decided how how lives will improve, our problems solved? Thanks for this reminder of this human problem, and doing it in (for me) a very new way!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think so much of the time, we have looked “left” for the solution, and missed God’s plan because he came from our right flank. In other words, we are just so focused on what we think, our own steps..we miss the footsteps in the sand right next to us.

      Liked by 1 person

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