Monday, January 31, 2011

Comforts from the Cross - Day 22

Side note: Yesterday, I had labeled it as Day 20 again instead of Day 21. My mistake. I fixed it. Not even close to perfect, and I think I am ok with that. On with today...

The Hope of Righteousness

Through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. -Galatians 5:5

We all hope in or wait for something. As a little kid, you probably hoped for Christmas, your birthday, or to be a teenager.  As a teenager, we wait for High School and then College. After College, we hope/wait for marriage or the perfect job.  Then we wait for kids, grandkids, and retirement. In Galatians 5:5, Paul was waiting for something greater than what we normally place our hopes in on this earth. I like it that Paul shows that he is like us in that he is waiting for "the hope of righteousness." Before we continue, let's remember an important fact about Galatians, Paul was showing the Galatian church that keeping the law is Not the means for obtaining a right standing with God. "No, hope for true righteousness is 'through the Spirit, by faith.' Paul is reminding us that the only hope of righteousness is through the power of the Spirit, who grants the faith in our hearts."

Why do we need to hope in righteousness? When I survey my life, I often find the idea that I will be righteous quite hard to believe. Sin is prevalent in my life. It is easy to recognize the grief that is caused by my prideful and selfish heart. "It is only as we meditate upon the Gospel's promise that the Spirit creates faith within our hearts." So, we wait, much like a kid on Christmas morning, but with a greater anticipating of what of us to come.  While we are waiting, Elyse encourages with theses words,"we must not give up in despair or seek to anesthetize our conscience with the shallow delights of the world. Even when our hearts wander, the Father's promise of true righteousness and holiness stands."  

Today, I rejoice that God grants the faith to hope for His righteousness.  It makes me ever mindful of my sin here on this earth and makes the Gospel even grander and greater. "What is your hope of righteousness? Only that this righteousness doesn't depend on you at all, but has been granted to you as a gift through the Gospel."

Sneak peek for tomorrow: The Crown of Righteousness. Our hope becomes our reality, our reward. "Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:8.

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