Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Titus 2:11-14 (NIV)
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:11-14 (MSG)
God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.
“For the [remarkable, undeserved] grace of God that [a]brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to reject ungodliness and worldly (immoral) desires, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives [lives with a purpose that reflect spiritual maturity] in this present age, awaiting and confidently expecting the [fulfillment of our] blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who [willingly] gave Himself [to be crucified] on our behalf to redeem us and purchase our freedom from all wickedness, and to purify for Himself a chosen and very special people to be His own possession, who are enthusiastic for doing what is good.” -AMPLIFIED
Hope is an expectancy, a looking forward to, when things may otherwise appear to be hopeless. For thousands of years the Israelites looked forward with hope and anticipation for their coming Messiah. When He finally arrived He came in such a way that many of them did not accept Him for the “ONE” they had been waiting for. God has promised His children a “blessed hope”; it is waiting in the off-wings. It is the glorious appearing of our Savior once again.
The writer of Hebrews shares with us about hope. He says, “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.” -Hebrews 6-18-20 (MSG)
Hope comes from God and in Scripture we find that it is a a strong and confident expectation; a trust and a confidence. Paul encouraged the Romans with these words, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13 (NIV) We see that we not only serve a God of hope, but a God who can overflow hope within us.
When we are feeling hopeless, we need to turn to the God of hope. We may not know what to expect or anticipate from Him, but we do know that He gives good gifts to His children. Jim Elliot, the missionary who lost his life in bringing the Gospel to the Indians of Ecuador said, “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.” You may wonder how dying for the advancement of the Cross was a good thing, but Jim knew his greatest hope was to one day stand before his Lord and Savior and hear those words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”.
When Jesus was born on that evening over two thousand years ago; He brought a new hope. He offered a hope that allowed reconciliation with His Father for all mankind. He gave us the hope of spending Eternity with Him. On that silent night so long ago, when the angels filled the sky over where the shepherds kept watch over their sheep, hope was born that night!
Never lose that hope or let it be extinguished. The Author of that hope has promised to continue to renew it in you. “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” -Psalm 62:5 (NIV)
Lord, my hope, indeed, comes from you. You fill me with anticipation and expectancy for what lies ahead in my walk with you and there is never a dull moment in this adventure of life. I look forward to that time when I will be standing in your very presence for all of Eternity. I want to hear those words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”. I never want to be found lacking in having faith and trusting in you. My hope is in you, Lord!