For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Rom 8:24-25)
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (Isa 61:1-3, emphasis mine)
Last week, I was mowing the lawn and listening to Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Beauty Will Rise” on my MP3 player. My body was into the songs as I was singing out loud while riding my Husqvarna mower. I was probably quite a site (my wife will confirm that! Even my son David asked her “what’s wrong with Daddy?”). Every song on that album speaks to my heart, but I especially get excited by the title song. The song is an anthemic declaration of our hope in God as Christians. As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the hope of going to heaven when we die and being with the Lord and those who died in him. If we don’t die before Jesus Christ returns, we have the hope of being changed in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (see 1Co 15:51-52). Finally, we have the hope of the resurrection, since Jesus rose from the dead, and of receiving our glorified bodies and living with God for eternity. The hope of these future events, coupled with the current reality of being saved by grace through faith, give me joy, courage and strength to press on after such a tragedy.
Yesterday we spent some time with a dear elderly member of our church. She was sharing some things with us to help us remember her if she soon went to be with the Lord. Brenda told her that, if she gets there before us, to say “hi” to Isaac on our behalf. Today in church, we sang the great hymn “Blessed Be the Tie that Binds”, and the fourth verse really spoke to my heart:
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
Oh, what a hope we have!
One last interesting item is that, when I originally downloaded the songs to my MP3 player several months ago, the last song on the album, “Spring Is Coming”, did not transfer. So I kept listening to the album without the last song. However, when I recently updated my MP3 player, the song copied over. Perhaps my heart was not yet ready several months ago to begin to think about spring coming again in our lives. However, it does seem that, during this earthly autumn season here in central PA, spring is coming to our hearts.(Note: None of these videos are mine and are available on YouTube.)