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Church Devotional | Saturday, April 25

Posted by Randy Anderson on
 
God and the Happy Hope
Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5
Titus 2:13
 
In Psalms 42 and 43, within the span of 16 verses we read the exact same words in three separate verses.
 
 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God. (Ps. 42:5 ESV)
 
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Ps. 42:11 ESV)
 
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Ps. 43:5 ESV)
 
Last week we noted that as translation from the Hebrew text goes a translation of ‘wait on God’ would be another way of saying the same thing as to say, as the ESV has it  ‘hope in God. You got life you got trouble – hope in God. You got life you got trouble – wait on God. Two ways of saying basically the same thing.
 
It is like it was yesterday. A blazing hot day in early summer. My uncle to be,about 19 years old at the time, Stuart Nelson, was taking some equipment from the Youth for Christ Center in Rockford to a Bible Camp called Camp Hickory in Ingleside Illinois, about an hour from Rockford. Stu took my brother and I with him, and we road there in a VW Bug with no air-conditioning – Stu was about our favorite person in the world at that time; the deal was that after we dropped the stuff off at that camp we would get to swim in the camp swimming pool for a half hour or so before we came back to Rockford, and we were all in. As I say, it was blazing hot and visits to swimming pools were rare in our experience in those days. I was around 6 years old and my brother 10. We dropped off the stuff, went to the camp pool, put on our suits and were walking toward the pool when my uncle asked my brother Doug – hey Doug, have you ever jumped off a high dive before? Doug said no. And Stu said, well then, today is the day. My brother said he wasn’t so sure, and my uncle to be said that he was sure of this, if Doug didn’t jump off the high dive, we were just getting our cloths back on and returning to Rockford. I instantly began pleading with my brother to jump off the high dive. After some back and forth Doug went up the ladder on the high dive and stood out on the end of the board —he was looking down at my ‘uncle to be’ and saying ‘uncle Stu,’ I don’t know – I don’t think I can.’ And Stu said, ‘that’s OK Doug, just come on down and we will get our cloths back on and go home.’ And now I am beginning to panic – every hopeful thing about that day seemed to be in danger of vanishing before me. As my brother was poised out on the end of that diving board what I wanted to call to him was something like this ‘what are you waiting for?’ I knew what I was waiting for – I knew what I was hoping – I was waiting for him to jump; I was hoping he would jump; and he did, and we swam and it was wonderful – it was wonderful for about 30 minutes.
 
What I was waiting for and what I was hoping in was a pleasure that lasted about 30 minutes. What are you waiting for? What are you hoping in? Among the great benefits of hoping in God – waiting on God, is that the benefits of God never end – they are of an eternal nature.
 
The apostle Paul makes a reference in Titus 2:13 to something that he refers to as ‘the blessed hope;’ he expressed it this way,
 
13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (Tit. 2:13 ESV)
 
Pastor Terry, in yesterday’s devotional made the translational switch from ‘blessed’ as a translation to ‘happy’ as a translation of the same Greek word – a legitimate switch. If we make that switch here in Titus 2:13 we end up with a reading that goes like this,
 
13 waiting for our happy hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (Tit. 2:13 ESV)
 
At the time of the happy hope, among the happily hopeful things that take place is that believers receive their resurrection bodies and rise form the dead into a new heaven and a new earth. I was talking about this just a week ago; I was standing together with a family in Woodlawn cemetery here in Sioux Falls. There was a casket and tombstones arranged neatly in every direction. And we were discussing ‘the happy hope; that a day is coming when just as Jesus left behind an empty tomb on Easter Sunday, so at the time of the ‘happy hope’ believers will leave behind empty caskets and find themselves walking about in a new heaven and new earth. How long will they be staying in that new earth – how long does this new heaven and new earth experience last? As long as God lasts – forever; eternally.
 
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God. (Ps. 42:5 ESV)
 
The happy hope is this; none of the stuff of turmoil lasts all that long; none of it lasts forever. But for those who hope in God, they will find that they have fallen heir to the happy hope – the happy hope of life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God. (Ps. 42:5 ESV)
 
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