When God promises to do something for ever, all of eternity is being shaped. That is why our covenant with Him is so central.
Our hope is not in our ability – our hope is in His ability to hold us. Our trust is not in ourselves – it is in what Jesus Christ has done. Our faith is not in our good works – it is in His good work for us – that is why we say…”Lord, there is no God like you!”
This is the story with Solomon dedicating the temple – it is also a story of God’s unrelenting commitment to God’s people through divine words of hope, judgment, summons and warning – all because God is seeking to maintain this covenantal relationship with His people. A patient and merciful God awaits our response and listens to our prayers.
The promises of God – what we hope for tomorrow – changes who we are today. These promises are foundational doctrines that colour all of lives as believers, both in times of temptation and in our trials. These promises of God motivate holiness and awaken expectation and confidence in our pursuit of the Lord.
O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart – 1 Kings 8:23
We have made prayer the theme for Partners International this year. We also happen to love the word hope and it appears in most of the action items that we engage in – such as the Hope in Action tour and the Hope in Action catalogue.
As I begin to look at hope this year, I am recognizing that the two actually go hand in hand – that is, prayer and hope.
When I hope, I pray – when I am praying, I am hoping.
In our introduction to Jesus, we see the temple and the importance of those serving God there, interacting with the Gospel story. Starting with Zacharias serving at the altar of incense, a duty that he will only perform once in his lifetime. Then we see the praying and hoping covenant believers in Simeon and Anna. Simeon himself was brought by the Spirit to the temple that day just so he could see Jesus as He was brought there for circumcision. The last time we see Jesus in the temple before He engages in ministry, he was twelve years old, sitting in the temple, discussing the things of God.
No wonder as He was nearing His time on earth that He became so aggressive at the money changers in the temple. They were not just money changers, they looked forward to making a deal using the passion and hopes of those who came to seek God. They did not come to serve and be part of the worship, they were there only for the money
Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” – Luke 19:45-46
Sometimes A Prayer Will Do
There is Hope Through Prayer