Sunday, March 10, 2019

Are we all to be murdered in our beds?

Thank God that he loves us so much, our certain, always-to-be-counted-on, never-failing hope is in him.

The question, “Are we all to be murdered in our beds?” has become a Moon family joke. We say it when we hear a knock on the door or for any other excuse we can come up with. It comes from a scene in the BBC’s miniseries version of Pride & Prejudice, linked here. That film is a favorite of ours, and we find the character of Mrs. Bennet extremely silly and funny -- as anyone would! It strikes us as quite hilarious that when she hears an unexpected knock on the door in the middle of the night, her reaction is to screech the question if they all will be murdered in their beds!

Mrs. Bennet’s reaction is absurd, of course, but we do often worry, and even despair, about what will happen in the future. I know I sometimes have the feeling there is no hope, and I think we all do. And there are definitely times that our fear can seem absurd to others or -- especially looking back -- absurd even to ourselves.

There are many times in the Bible when people express despair or having no hope. Like this in Psalm 13:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
   How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
   and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Or, as I noted briefly in last week’s email, in Lamentations where there are verses and verses of hopelessness. There are many other depictions of hopelessness and despair in the Bible. Even the disciples, after Jesus was crucified and before they saw him resurrected, displayed hopeless feelings -- things did not turn out as they expected.

You, like me, have probably heard ministers or others explain that the word “hope,” when it’s used in the Bible, is almost the opposite of the way we use it in our common speaking. We say things like “I hope I get this particular present” or “I hope we have ice cream for dessert” or “I hope John will be there,” and so on. We use it almost like a wish -- we hope for something we wish will come true, but we really have no idea whether it will or not.

In the Bible, though, hope is not a wish, not an uncertainty. It is a certainty. It is something we can hold on to -- more like a lifesaver, or lifebuoy, thrown out to a drowning person. When we say our hope is in Christ, it means we know Christ is there for us, we know he loves us. There is no wishing or uncertainty involved.

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
   to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
   for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:25, 26)

Of course, doubt happens. Sometimes we do feel uncertain, sometimes we do wonder if God is there. Doubt is normal and part of our journey of faith. Like the man with the sick child in Mark, we sometimes pray, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-25). In spite of that doubt, hope is certain.

Thank God that he loves us so much, our certain, always-to-be-counted-on, never-failing hope is in him.

What can I pray about for you?

love and blessings,

Mavis

If you would like to send me specific prayer requests I will gladly pray with you. If you are reading this in my blog, email me at mavis at moonfamily.cc. I'll keep all communication confidential.

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