This week's thought comes a bit late. And yes, I know that a "thought" to ponder on a Friday evening may get overlooked! But this one is worth pondering when you do have more time, so don't simply send it off into cyber-space.
It is time-proven wisdom that may seem odd to us at first -- even wrong. But read on till the end, for in the end I believe you will see he is right. It comes to you from , in a message entitled "What Is My Hope?" (written in the 1880's) I have taken the liberty to change some of the language or phrases for easier reading and understanding.
"One August evening, just before sunset, I saw a rainbow suddenly appear. It seemed to rise out of the dark clouds that hung in the sky and drew my eyes by its completeness; for nothing seemed lacking either in regard to its color, position or perfection. But if it was one of the brightest and most beautiful rainbows I'd ever seen, it was also one of the briefest. It had scarcely taken its place on the cloud when it disappeared.
That fair rainbow was like man's (earthly) hopes -- as brief as they are bright, and as disappointing as they are promising. It disappeared from the sky though no hand had touched it, and no storm had shaken it, leaving nothing behind but the cloud it had brightened for a few moments. It was like man's hopes and joys and plans. They rise and fall; they come and go; they shine and then return to darkness. 'The things that are seen are temporal.' (II Cor. 4:18) When will we be wise and fix our eye only upon that which endures forever; on that which will fill the heart and make the soul glad to all eternity?
It is written, 'You destroy the hope of man." (Job 14:19) It's true. Our earthly hopes don't just fall to pieces by themselves, the Lord often destroys them before their time. Why? Because they become idols and must be broken, for 'the idols He will utterly abolish." Our cherished hopes of a bright future here -- of a long life, of health, of comfort, of riches, of prosperity -- must be choked, lest we make earth our home and heaven and forget the glory to be revealed and the pleasures that are at God's right hand forever.
Yet God quenches no hope without presenting a brighter one --- one that will last for ever. He does not mock the creature He has made. He does not wither up His fairest flowers without a reason -- and that reason is full of wisdom and love.
He cares for us. He yearns over us. He desires that we be happy. He loves us too much to cheat us with dreams. MAN'S hope must be destroyed that GOD'S hope may be built upon its ruins. Human hopes are swept away only that the divine hope may come and take its place. The temporal is taken from our grasp in mercy, that the eternal may be our portion and our inheritance forever. That is the better hope. That is the hope full of life and immortality.
A hope which God Himself gives, and which no circumstance or person can ever take from us.
It is a divine and everlasting hope. It brings with it the peace that passes understanding and contains that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory. It is sure and glorious, like Him from whom it comes. It is connected with a crown, with an inheritance, with a kingdom, with a glory which will never fade, with an eternity of joy so rich that eye has not seen, nor ear heard what awaits those who hold tightly to it.
It is the gospel hope, for nothing but a believed gospel can bring such hope and be attended by such peace."
In the Bonds of Christian Affection, Pastor Jeff
Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans