If this house could talk what would it tell us about the hopes and dreams of the people who lived here.
Would we hear the pounding heart of a young man as he kneels to ask the love of his life to marry him, hoping she will say “Yes!” Or would we hear the heavy footsteps of a rejected man whose hopes were dashed?
Would we hear a young wife groaning in labor and the pacing of an anxious husband as they hope to hear the first cries of their newborn child? Or would we hear the silent cry of an empty womb that gives birth to hopelessness month after month, year after year?
Would we hear the laughter of a house full of children celebrating birthdays, baptisms, graduations and engagements? Or would we hear the echoing silence of hopeless and broken hearts?
Would we hear the pop of a champagne cork in celebration of a new contract, a raise, or a growing investment? Or the burst hope of an economic collapse?
Would we hear the bustling of grandchildren rushing in to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa, cousins, aunts, and uncles? Or would we hear the slow and quiet steps of a lonely man or woman, warming a single plate of dinner as the sun sets on the last hope for happiness.
Too often we place our hope in transient and temporary things, on circumstances that are ever-changing, or in people who will eventually let us down by their actions or by death.
We spend our lives building relationships, careers, fortunes and families, however, without Christ in our plans, everything is temporary and futile.
With the passage of time all of our hard work is undone. The lifelong success of a career vanishes with the next business whim. Houses are abandoned when no one desires their location or style. Enterprises crumble when the “and sons” don’t want to follow in the family footsteps. Fortunes are lost on the turn of a dime. Families are destroyed when forgiveness is hoarded.
For too many people hope is simply wishful thinking; dreams that may or may not come true. Whatever hopes this house may have held are long dead and now the house is dying. But that is not the way of Christian hope, Christian hope is eternal.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves. Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:1-5a NIV
Worldly hope is little more than a positive outlook, a good feeling, or a desire for a favorable outcome. Christian hope is a settled assurance that God is sovereign over the affairs of men and come what may, God always does what is good and right.
Hope that is based on the character of God enables us to live in contentment no matter the circumstances of life.
True love and marriage may or may not be in our future but the enduring true love of God is. We may not raise a house full children but we rejoice in our adoption as children of God. There may be more disappointment than celebration but our hope overcomes our suffering. Christian hope doesn’t promise financial success however it provides for a rich and abundant spiritual life. Christian hope promises eternal life.
“…but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:23-25 NIV
We have a choice, to place our hope in transient, temporary and earthly things, or to place our hope in God. We don’t know when this life will end, however, we know that it will.
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. ” 1 Timothy 6:17 NIV
Will the things in which you’ve placed your hope endure beyond your days on this earth, or will weeds overtake and destroy everything you are working so hard to accomplish once you are gone?
What hope is shaping your life today? What hope is sustaining your life today? Is God building your house or do you labor in vain?