Hi everyone. Rob here.
As I’ve been taking my daily walk through the park I’ve been noticing that some of the trees seem to be on a significant lean. It’s been a stormy week and I wonder if these trees have deep and strong enough roots to stand against the elements. I was also wondering how healthy the trees are. It struck me that we don’t normally know how sick a tree is until it snaps. Then the rotten trunk is exposed, even though it looked good from the outside. That also got me thinking about Jesus’ parables in Matthew 13 where he talks about the dangers of poor soil, thorns that choke, the fruit of good soil, and, later, the wheat and weeds growing together until the end of the age. It all spoke to me again about Proverbs 4:23.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
This is no time for half measures when it comes to following Jesus. It’s a time to be deeply rooted in him, given over to him, led by his Spirit and filled with his love. It’s a time for vigilance, especially over our hope. There are so many false hopes out there! Hope has to be based on truth and the truth is that Jesus alone is Lord. Therefore, true hope, lasting hope, hope that’s the anchor of the soul, is placed on him. Jesus is our hope. Namely, his words, his actions, his achievements, his character and his promises are our hope. So, here are some words of hope from Jesus for you:
“Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
The renewal of all things, through Jesus, is our lasting hope. God’s reign will fill this earth.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever (Revelation 22:1-5)
This is nothing less than the complete reversal of the fall of humanity and creation. We get the tree of life, that God prevented us from having after the serpent’s treason. We get our reign back, We will rule even as we serve our God. We will know God fully. No more darkness. No more evil. No more pain or grief or sadness. Everything broken will be made whole. Our relationships will be filled with joy.
So, here is the warning: Do not let the enemy, or this fallen world, or any other power steal your hope. Guard your heart and guard your hope. Be deeply rooted in Jesus. Let his hope in the renewal of all things and the reversal of all evil be yours.
Grace and peace everyone.