Hope In A Hopeless World

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Scripture Text: Hebrews 2:5-8

What do we do when we are overwhelmed with the circumstances and situations that surround us - When the depressing thoughts come in like a thick fog, engulfing our minds and spirits? When we find ourselves in this place of hopelessness, we need a new view of Jesus instead of focusing on the problems of this world.
The writer to the Hebrews was addressing just such an audience. Believers in Christ, who were facing very difficult circumstances and were entertaining the idea of going back to their old ways of believing and behaving. To this audience, the writer lifts up Jesus as better than anything they hold dear. He is better than angels, better than the Priesthood, better than Moses, better than blood sacrifices - Christ is better!
In our text we find that none of the angels were destined to rule over all things - that position of complete authority is reserved for Christ alone. All things have been placed under His feet - no throne or dominion, no principality or power - nothing has been excused or left out of this promise to Jesus Christ. All things are placed under His feet. However, the next line is a great source of encouragement to me. "But now we do not yet see all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God might taste death for everyone"(Heb 2:8b-9).
What we see with our natural senses is a world seemingly gone mad. We see hatred, genocide and racial tensions that seemed primed to explode. We see a nation adrift - loosed from its moral anchors and, without divine intervention, headed for destruction. We see the loss of values that have given us purpose and direction for generations. We see a hopeless society. We see families in chaos amid financial and social struggles. The elderly and the youngest of our society are at great risk in today's climate of expedience.
Yet all these things have been placed under Jesus' feet! We do not presently see all these things put under Him; but we do see HIM...namely, Jesus. This is a key to our hope in a hopeless society. We see Jesus! You see, the answer does not lie in our situations and circumstances; it lies in our vision of HIM. Ultimately He will rule this world with the 'rod of iron'. Demons and principalities, rulers and despots will bow before this King of Glory. Sickness and disease will give way to this One whose back was stripped for our healing. Even death will give way to the One who was dead but is alive forevermore.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem that has become a Christmas Classic, "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" in 1864. Longfellow's wife had burned to death when her clothing caught fire in 1861, and his son had been critically wounded in the Civil War in 1863. In this poem we find these words:

And in despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
of Peace on earth, good will to men"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
with peace on earth good will to men."
Sometimes our situations cause us to despair and bow our heads. There are cases where our faith may wane and we become disillusioned due to the circumstances that engulf us. However, when we see HIM we are reassured that God is not dead, nor doeth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth good will to men!
I learned this chorus years ago when attending Youth Camp, and reflect on it often in my own desperate situations:  "Turn your eyes upon Jesus look full in His wonderful face. Then the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace."