Wisdom is the security of hope

The most interesting point of reference to hope I found in Proverbs today.  Wisdom is what will keep our hope on what has been promised to us.

I think there might be many different kinds of jewels of wisdom that God provides us with, but this one is special. Without the security of our hope, what does our future look like?

What if we can’t find that wisdom?  Is it possible that there are those of us who will never find it?  I mean wisdom like this is like eating honey that drips straight from a honeycomb – who would not ask, seek, knock just to have something like this for our soul?

Wisdom is that assurance that placing our confidence in the promises of God is the basis for hope.

 C. S. Lewis wrote a whole chapter on hope in his book, Mere Christianity, this is his opening paragraph —

Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither. It seems a strange rule, but something like it can be seen at work in other matters. Health is a great blessing, but the moment you make health one of your main, direct objects you start becoming a crank and imagining there is something wrong with you. You are only likely to get health provided you want other things more – food, games, work, fun, open air. In the same way, we shall never save civilisation as long as civilisation is our main object. We must learn to want something else even more.

 So when we look at prayer, we change the way we pray for others.  We no longer pray for what they are experiencing here on earth, we begin to pray for them in light of eternity and so our prayer is that they will find Jesus.  That He will be with them – and through Him they will experience the comfort, peace, healing and hope that only He can give.

My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, you will find a future, and your hope will not be cut off.– Proverbs 24:13-14

With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman

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Hopes being crushed

Psalm 118 might have been one of the scripture references John the Baptist had in mind in regards to the tasks of the coming of the Messiah and the setting of His kingdom.  Verses that suggested that in all the elements of destroying nations, God would protect Him – I would imagine that this is how John prayed for – hoped for – and it was not happening.  Since the opposite was happening, John’s hopes were being crushed – his faith was weak – doubt took over.  Was He Jesus the One who comes in the name of the Lord?  John the Baptist, the greatest prophet since the era of the Old Testament, the one called to prepare the way of the Lord – began to doubt – doubt the very words of Jesus.

One thing that scripture never does – it never hides the saints as ideally faultless – there is no concern to conceal any sign of imperfection or weakness.  In this case, nothing is so naturally laid out than John the Baptist.  To whom received a partial revelation of Jesus as the Son of God – there should have been more calm instead of the deep anguish at the noiseless advance of the Kingdom.  But John was not alone – Elijah struggled in his faith, Job struggled in his trials and Jeremiah did the same when he was in prison.  As John drowned in his brief tragic career, he might have hoped to alleviate, by his question, the anguish that he felt. Maybe his question was more like – If Jesus is the Messiah, why am I, His Forerunner, suffering and worse still, by the hand of an evil tyrant?  Yes, John was just one of the many saints whose careers God, is His mysterious manner, has allowed to suffer and others to end in disaster to show us all how small we are in importance and how little we are to attach to what people may think of us, or for that matter, the rewards this earth has to offer such individuals.

And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?”  And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'”  In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.  And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.” – Luke 7:19-23

Proverbs 13:12-22