Friday, August 08, 2008

Hold On To Hope- Part 2

We learned in our last lesson that we are to be as Christ and one to follow his example is to be willing to please my neighbor and therefore to be willing to bear reproach.

What does this have to do with hope?

Psalm 69, which Paul has in view, is ultimately a psalm of hope. Although David has suffered and is suffering, his hope and praise are in the Lord.

In the midst of his disgrace, David's poignant response in Psalm 69 is:
But I am afflicted and in pain, let your salvation O God set me on high!
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.(v. 29,30)
And again,
For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. (v. 33,34)

The apostle Paul directs his Roman readers to this Psalm anticipating the difficulties and trials that will be faced by following Christ.
The hope that we have in the salvation of our wonderful Creator and Savior is the only reason for us to persevere in the ways of righteousness to which Paul is directing us.

And how are we reminded to have hope? How are we to be encouraged as we embark on the reproach-filled road of the Cross of Jesus?

God's word, the Scriptures, are our source of hope and encouragement.

Romans 15:4 tells us:
For whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of Scriptures we might have hope.

How amazing that Paul writes that the Old Testament Scriptures were written for us in the New Testament church. A careful reading of the New Testament will surely direct us continuously back to the Old Testament for the foundation of the truths found in the New Testament. How reassuring that Paul did not feel the need to "reinvent the wheel"in his teachings to Jesus' followers!
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