November 26: Because Real Hope Matters

Read Philippians 3:1-14

It had been a rough couple of weeks. Six straight days of an illness for my daughter that led to the emergency room, numerous medical tests and doctors’ appointments. I was exhausted in every sense of the word. Still, there I sat with a car jack, a wrench and a spare tire on a side road. I had run over some unknown object that slashed my tire and left me relying on my dad’s “This Is How You Change a Tire” lessons from years before. Once I got the spare on, I made my way to the tire store where they hooked me up with a new one. Then I drove home.

Strangely unaffected by the stress of the whole thing, I talked to God about it as I drove home. I couldn’t ignore the peace I felt. I could not discredit the hope I somehow experienced that day, even in the midst of what could have amounted to a full-blown breakdown. All I could think about was the truth that knowing Jesus through brokenness was better than “having it all together” while missing a real relationship with the God who loves me more than I can imagine.

It’s the real hope that we’ve been talking about for the past few weeks. Knowing and trusting Jesus Christ and His promise for true and eternal life is not just better than having it all together — it is the only way to live the way we were created to live.

Having a vital, growing, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to have real hope.

Paul knew this. Before he genuinely knew and trusted Jesus Christ with his life, it looked like Paul had everything going for him. He seemed to have the best life possible for himself. But when Jesus called Paul into a personal relationship with Himself and he began to really know Him, Paul realized that knowing Jesus was worth far more than anything else. Paul’s hope was misguided until Jesus stopped him in his tracks and showed him the truth about real hope.

Is your hope misguided like Paul’s was? Or are you convinced that knowing Jesus is more valuable than anything you can imagine? To know His ways, encounter a personal relationship with God and live by the power of His resurrection is worth more than a good reputation, a fully-stocked bank account and a name that impresses people. Is that something you’re willing to admit today?

Why not ask God to show you how this is true? Make a list of all the things you love having and ask Him to show you how knowing Him is better than each one. Then trust Him to show you as you grow closer in your relationship with Him today and experience real hope.