Without any of the marketing and media means of our times, the church in the very beginning grew, not weekly but daily, as people accepted Jesus’ offer of forgiveness, were baptized into his family and added to the church. How did they do it? Simple stories from satisfied customers. It is the most needed form of advertising both then and now. Joe and Jane Average Christian saying, “You know that faith in God thing, I have tried it and it is working for me and it will work for you also.” We’re talking simple testimonials of their faith in God.
There is a very pointed statement in the New Testament book of First Peter that says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” The need today, as it was then, is satisfied Christ followers sharing their hope with others in our culture that are living with hope in all the wrong places. Their hope amounts to nothing more than wishful thinking.
Christian hope is an optimistic outlook based on powerful promises. The world’s definition of hope is an optimistic outlook. So, if I am going to ever be able to give a reason for the hope I have I need to clearly identify the promises upon which my hope is based.
Here’s how you get prepared? Tuck a few promises from the Bible in your heart that apply to you right now. When your circumstances change you’ll find a couple of other promises that fit where you’re at then. And you’re always ready to share your hope.
Have a couple simple promises that you’re holding onto in your life. Take that promise of God and applied it to your situation and it gives you tremendous hope. Now you’re ready to share the reason for your hopefulness with somebody else that needs it. It’s that simple.
For me right now, and for a good part of my life, I have put my hope in promises I find in the 4th chapter of Philippians. I personally believe this could be the greatest chapter in the entire Bible. It is at least in the top three. What hope they bring in the times in which we live. I am assured, “The lord is near.” I have the presence of God to go with me. He is as close to me as I will allow Him to be. And when I take my issues to Him and give them to Him, I am told that I can have His peace that is beyond my ability to comprehend. There’s more. I have the promise also, and I have experienced it first hand, that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. That’s power. I can experience his power in my life. But the best is yet to come. I have the confidence and assurance that when I stay connected with God and depend on Him and utilize His strength that he will supply my every need. He’s my provider and no matter what happens in life or in our economy I’m covered. So I live each day in the presence, peace, power and provision of God.
These are the promises upon which I am building my life. How about you? What are the promises from the Bible that serve as the foundation of your hope? Would you care to share one?