Quest for Hope
Looking for God 3-21-16
On Saturday, we read about Zacchaeus and how he reveals a truly surrendered life. In fact, Zacchaeus shows us grace in action as he seeks the Lord and puts his hope in Jesus to save him. Zacchaeus demonstrates the power of grace as he climbs down from the tree to receive and fellowship with God’s Love. He goes from being separated from the love of God in Christ to enjoying Christ as a guest in his home. Truly, only God could have brought this about in Zacchaeus’ life. Today, we will continue our quest for hope as we turn to the Psalter and visit David’s song in Book 22. He sang about how he continued to look for God (like Zacchaeus), but at times he felt abandoned by Him. Have you ever prayed, “Where are you, God?” David did. Jesus did.
Psalm 22:1-8 (NLT)
1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted in you,
and you rescued them.
They cried out to you and were saved.
They trusted in you and were never disgraced.
But I am a worm and not a man.
I am scorned and despised by all!
Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
“Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
let the Lord rescue him!”
Like David, we confess and know God is present everywhere at all times and believe we can never be separated from His love, but…the issues of life can rise up and try to overwhelm us, anyway. People around us can make fun of our faith in God to bring a hope of change. It may look bleak at times. We need to remember, a relationship with God will always involve a quest (journey) for hope. That means we start in one place and journey to another place in our faith. As we make the journey our love for God grows stronger and our faith more persevering.
Our issues are varied. Many people struggle in the economy right now, so perchance our issue is financial insecurity; losing a job or simply not having enough money to go around due to mounting unexpected expenses. “We know you are our Provider. Where are you, God?” Perhaps we have a myriad of physical issues only to find them becoming chronic and leaving us feeling defeated. “We know you are our Healer. Where are you, God?” Maybe our minds are filled with fear of things that have not even happened, but waves of dread, worry, or anxiety spill over us in capsizing power occupying our minds and leaving us weary. “We know you are our Peace. Where are you, God?”
As Jesus hung from the cross, he cried out the psalmist’s prayer, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46 NLT). Yet, Jesus remained totally surrendered to the will of God for salvation and stayed the course to fulfill the work of the cross. At the end of the cross we will find God’s faithfulness and a new level in our faith journey. Jesus did. Let’s follow Jesus and press on to stay the course in our quest for Hope. Never take your eyes off Jesus!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know Jesus is the beginning and the end for all things in heaven and on earth. No matter what issues I face, you know me and you know where I find myself spiritually, emotionally, and physically each day. You know my eternal and tangible resources and how I steward them. Jesus, I know you are always with me and teaching me even until the end of the world as I know it. Holy Spirit, please don’t let me take my eyes off from Jesus! Help me to persevere and stay the course to a new level of glorious grace and faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.