If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Do not be misled… 1 Corinthians 15:32-33a (NIV)
In the above verses, please fill in for the phrase “fought wild beasts in Ephesus” with your own pursuit or endeavor, anything you have applied your mind and heart to in life. When you read it with your personalized information it hits home in a bit different way, does it not?! What in our life have we hung, or are we hanging on mere “human hopes”?
But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. John 2:24 (NLT) Jesus gave His life to save all people but He didn’t put His trust in humans for He remembered what we are made of (Psalm 103:14). As a human being this should cause us to pause and remember that we cannot even truly trust ourselves (Jeremiah 17:9)! Hanging our hope on this fading world, on self, our own abilities, or other people, and what they think or can do for us… is just unwise.
We can love life and people well without hanging our hopes, our validation, approval, our dreams, our security, our success… on them and the things of this material world. Doing so will only prove to be a disappointment. When we look to anyone or thing to fill the void in our heart that only God (who knit our heart together) can fill, we will always come up short. Today let’s choose to commit to submit; to allow God on a daily basis to pour out those misplaced desires coupled with the strength to hang them on the only One who is always enough, for all we need, all the time. A divided heart will never come to experience I AM as enough, and until Jesus is enough for us, nothing else ever will be.
In Jesus we have hope beyond this life, a purpose that extends into eternity! This eternal perspective changes our mindset in any circumstance! Trials, setbacks, tragedies, opposition, oppression, depression… becomes not the end! Obstacles can be seen as opportunities to grow beyond ourselves. Remember the apostle Paul afflicted with a “thorn”. He prayed desperately three times for God to remove it and instead of changing the circumstance for Paul, God changed Paul. In a sense He gave him thick skin so that he could bear up under the pain, finding God’s grace to be sufficient, and himself becoming more effective in his life’s purpose (2 Corinthians 12). We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him- 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV) Clearly we have more than mere humans could even hope for, found only when our hope is placed in Jesus. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)
Keep looking up.