"Hope and Trust"
March 24, 2023, 4:12 PM

Hope and Trust

Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)

Hope is that to which we look forward. Trust is our action and investment in someone or something to bring us to the realization of our hope. Our deepest longing is the thing for which we hope, and we are motivated to follow the one who we believe will give us our heart’s desire.

We are living during a time in which our culture is being destroyed by those responsible to provide for the “common defense”. We see the aggressive secular and godless culture gaining ground. Therefore, the challenge for the church is to keep her focus on the certainty of her hope and to trust in the one who guarantees it.

We need not be amazed at the godless behavior we see in our culture. The secularists will continue to gather civil leaders to support their own passions. By God’s grace there are a few civil servants who are willing to speak the truth. But they are becoming less in number at every election. Even those who profess to believe in absolute truth put forth legislation that betrays what they profess in order to get re-elected and stay in power.

Elected officials continue to declare evil as good and good as evil. Legislation that defends the life of the unborn is called bigoted and not supportive of a woman’s reproductive choice. Our culture demeans the individual’s dignity and worth but assigning people to groups of oppressed and oppressors.

In the reality of our secular culture my concern is that the church is not prepared to meet the challenge of living in faithfulness to God. I love the church. In fact, every Christian loves the church. The Bible says that Christ died for the church (Ephesians 5:25). Therefore, as Christ gave His life for the church it necessarily follows that those for whom He died would love the church.

To meet the challenge of living in today’s secular culture, the church must proclaim and teach the nature and source of Christian love, eternal hope, and trust which intersect at the cross. The atonement of Christ – His once-for-all sacrifice for sin, His physical death and His bodily resurrection – guarantee that those for whom He died will see Him in glory. The Christian’s hope is certain not because of his faith but because of God, the object of genuine faith. There is only one Savior. His name is Jesus Christ. Eternal life is in Him and no one else. Christians don’t need the government to save them! Nor can the government save anyone!

The Christian’s hope and experience of God’s love is the motivation for the believer to trust in Him. It is precisely because of the propositional truth of God’s initiating and demonstrating His love for His people that I believe the church must be taught to act in obedience to God’s word. Believers in the church are exhorted by God’s word to be equipped to give an answer to everyone who asks them for the hope that they have (1 Peter 3:15). Christian pastors are accountable to lead and teach God’s people whom He has placed under their care the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

As believers are taught and subsequently apply their knowledge of God they are transformed by the Spirit of God. We are called to be “salt and light”. For the church to make a difference, her members must be people who pursue holiness in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God alone.

Colossians 3:1-2 says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Notice that this is a conditional statement. It begins with the conditional word “if”. If you are truly a Christian, then God said to seek godly things. The church is commanded to be holy. Each member is to pursue holiness. The means God has given us is His word. He has revealed those things that we are to be focused upon. When her members “put to death what is earthly” by the power of the Holy Spirit the church will make a difference in our culture. Her difference will glorify God!

May you be equipped to pursue holiness and to speak the truth in love, resting in the certain hope given to those who trust in God!