Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hope is Not Cheap ... But It's Free

A few months ago a dear friend of mine who recently lost her husband to brain cancer gave me a little sack filled with these “Hope” rocks for use at the Refuge.  I’ve placed them all around the Refuge, just as little reminders of the hope we have in Jesus.

A few nights ago, our son-in-law, Brad, was here, and he picked up one of them, flipped it over, saw the price tag on the bottom, and said, “Wow!  Hope is cheap!”  I chuckled … but it made me think.  Is hope really cheap?

If you look closely at the bottom of this rock, you’ll see that the original price was $1.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  But, there’s a red line through that price and the new price, highlighted in yellow, is just 99 cents. 

That is pretty cheap, isn’t it?

If you hold this rock in your hand, you’ll notice right away that it doesn’t feel like a real rock … It’s not heavy enough! 

No wonder it’s cheap … It’s fake!  It’s false hope, if you will.

When we are grieving, there are all kinds of “cheap” hope available to us. 

We can put our hope in keeping busy … If we just keep moving, maybe the sorrow won’t catch up with us.

We can put our hope in spending money … Maybe more stuff will make us feel better.

We can put our hope in drugs or alcohol … Maybe we can drown or at least muffle our pain.

We can put our hope in avoidance … Maybe we can stay away from all situations or people which might remind us of our loss.

We can put our hope in our work … Maybe we can find solace in moving up the ladder.

We can put our hope in the good things we do … Maybe if we’re good enough, we’ll get to go to Heaven with our children someday.

We can put our hope in other people … Maybe other people can bring us comfort.

These are all sources of hope that we CAN look to, but none of these will satisfy.  They are cheap substitutes for real Hope.

So where is real Hope to be found?  What is true Hope?

True Hope is not cheap.  It is incredibly costly.  It cost God everything.  It cost Jesus His very life.

Yet it’s available to us for free.

Because Jesus was willing to give up His glory and come to earth as a baby, born in a filthy stable to a teenage virgin, we can have Hope. 

This is a Hope that will never disappoint,
never say the wrong thing,
never run out,
never fail,
never let us down.

We can put our Hope in Jesus, because that is how we get to Heaven.  We can never be good enough to get there on our own.

And because of our Hope in Jesus, we will one day see Him face-to-face, along with our precious children who knew Him here on earth.

Our theme verse for While We're Waiting is Romans 8:25 … “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” 

That Hope helps us wait.  And not just wait with our feet kicked up like in a recliner, but to wait eagerly, persevering in the journey while we’re waiting! 

True Hope helps us wait well.

In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Grief can feel awfully dark, can’t it?  Especially right here at Christmas time when Christmas lights are everywhere!  Everything is lit up … but we can spend a lot of time walking around in the darkness. 

But Hope gives us light for our path.  And there’s nothing cheap about that kind of Hope!

"The people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned."  Matthew 4:16