Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. – Colossians 1:21-23. This is our fourth part in the series Recovery and the Gospel. We’ve talked about the role of the gospel in our recovery and so far discussed redemption, power, and forgiveness.
Today, we will discuss the role of hope and the gospel and how that changes us.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
We’ve all been there before. Life punches us with a loss, mental health challenge, or nagging sin. We look for Jesus for help and he’s seemingly not there. We search more and can’t seem to connect with him. Just like these guys in Luke 24, he’s right there, but we miss him. Hope is vital in recovery–we need hope. Check this article out.
Today, I want to discuss the role of hope and the Gospel and how we can live lives that honor God, in the midst of challenge, because of hope. A few thoughts about the role of hope in our recovery.
1) Hope in the gospel allows us to persevere.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently . – Romans 8:22-25
Our hope is not in this world. No, the gospel teaches us that we have a home in Heaven. A home without sin, heartache, or mental health challenges. We get to be with God forever and marvel at His Son, Jesus. This hope keeps us going when things get dark and stay dark. Keep your eyes fixed on your future hope – Heaven. Here are some other thoughts about hope. Paul said it best in Acts 23:6 and Romans 12:12:
I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
2) Hope is an anchor to our soul and connects us to the cross.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek . – Hebrews 6:19-20
Jesus, our “forerunner” endured the cross and paved the way for us. We look to the cross for answers to our life’s greatest challenges because Jesus went there first. He faced every challenge we face and won. He never sinned. He’s our Mentor, Coach, Friend, Saviour and Lord and He knows how to overcome. He is our anchor. Go to him in your most challenging times and ask him for the answers. Seek him more often, stay up late with him and rise early to meet him again. Anchors don’t move – they stay put.
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us . – 2 Corinthians 1:10
3) Gaze at the cross. This has been the number one most helpful activity for me recently as I work on change. Look at the cross. Plain and simple. Ponder the cross. In the middle of a struggle, consider the cross.
When you hit a wall in recovery, take time to gaze at the beauty of the cross. What does the cross say about you and your recovery issue? What “statements” are made by Jesus and the gospel in your specific area of change? There is great power in looking, meditating, pondering, considering, and gazing at the cross. Plain and simple. Read this article about Jesus.
Don’t believe me? Try it this week. Whenever you find yourself stuck, confused, discouraged, or ready to give up your recovery journey, gaze at the cross. Just look and keep looking. You’ll find forgiveness! Setting Captives Free is a great place to see this concept at work.
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel. – Colossians 1:3-5
The church setting is the the perfect place for recovery. Learn how to set up a Disciples In Motion weekend visit with Tim. It includes many different opportunities for mental health trainings in the church setting. Click here for more information.