This morning as I went through my ritual wake up with coffee and a blind stare at the internet just trying to clear the cobwebs, (it takes a bit longer to do this than it once did… and I am not sure if they ever really clear), I came across a number of struggles and prayer requests on Facebook, and as I read them and prayed for each of them the thought of our true lifeline, Jesus Christ, became this bright light that I could not get past.
That phrase lifeline has become almost trivialized in our culture. It even became one of the options in a game show. I looked the definition of a lifeline this morning. The worldly definition was pretty
- a rope or line used for life-saving, typically one thrown to rescue someone in difficulties in water or one used by sailors to secure themselves to a boat.
- a thing on which someone or something depends or which provides a means of escape from a difficult situation.
As I considered these definitions many things came to mind from God’s Word. I thought of the anchor through the veil and that took me to Hebrews 6:13-20 and that scripture brought me to hope. Not hope in things of this world but the Hope I have in Christ Jesus. He is my lifeline.
I thought of the vine… our lifeline to God and read John 15:1-11. The title of that passage in my ESV translation is “I am the True Vine”. I was humbled, and I realized for me my lifeline is the hope that I cling to in Jesus Christ. Everything here will crumble and fade… rust away, but Jesus is eternal.
Hunger for Understanding and Peace
I am filled with this peace as I read these passages, but I was still hungry for understanding so I did a “word search” on the word “hope” in my bible app on my PC. I limited it to the Gospels and Paul’s letters. The word hope, depending on the translation, was used approximately 50 times.
My first stop was in Romans 5:1-5
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
As I read this passage I cannot describe the feeling… it was a muddled mess… a Glorious muddled mess of both humility and joy… thanksgiving and peace… and hope.
I thought of my own circumstances and the struggles that I have; no better or worse than others. They are simply the ones I am intimately familiar with… I reread verse 4 and 5.
“and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
As I meditated on this passage all I could say is YES!!! Thank you, Father, for the gift of the Holy Spirit that fills my heart and mind with understanding as I need it, and opens the mystery of your Holy Word revealing exactly what I need every time.
I read on through Romans 5:6-11
“6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
And that took me to Ephesians 2:4-10
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Peace in God’s Word
And that took me back to the Lifeline, which is the Hope I find in Christ Jesus… and I read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV).
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
As I pondered all this I continued to pray for my friends and acquaintances. And I weighed all these things and gave thanks for my Hope in Christ Jesus and the guidance I gain from His Holy Spirit in me. I pray that His will be done in all things and that He might give me strength to pass through whatever circumstance I may face… “as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2Cor 4:18.
There is nothing that I find greater joy in than the lifeline I find in the love of God… To Him belongs all the glory! And me… I am thankful because every day my trust in Him grows stronger!!!