The Gospel Redemption Weekly Address: Week of October 2
“Remember that hope is a good thing, Red, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
Two men – one wrongly convicted of a crime, and one rightfully convicted, both strive for redemption in one of my favorite short stories (and movies) – The Shawshank Redemption. Both characters had been locked away long enough in Shawshank prison to ‘get busy dying’ instead of ‘get busy living.’ They were in danger of forgetting the other side of the hellscape they were a part of. But they would continue to seek redemption, to get busy living, by centering their thoughts around HOPE. Hope, to some, may seem irresponsible at best, blind to the realities of the consequences of their actions. But hope is a good thing. And the encouragement from the author of the quote above is – don’t disparage hope. Don’t give it up – it will never die so long as you keep it at the center of your thinking.
It's amazing what perspective, what framing one’s thoughts around a good thing like hope can do for a person. Sure, we can agree with the sentiment that we deserve only to face the consequences of our actions as sinful human beings. But there is hope to be found through God, to whom belongs honor, glory, majesty, and victory.
In fact, all things belong to God. Our abilities, our gifts, our possessions, our bodies. What’s more, salvation belongs to him only. And he knows our faults, he knows what we have chosen to do with our bodies – we are not wrongfully convicted when he calls us unrighteous and unclean sinners. And he knows that no merit of ours can lead to our redemption….Perhaps… I ‘jumped the gun’ in saying that there is hope in God?
There is hope. By his Word, God teaches us to frame our thoughts not only around his Law but also his Gospel: That just as salvation belongs to him, he DESIRES to give himself to us – his righteousness, his holiness, his compassion, his redemption, his kingdom of forgiveness – he chooses to give it to us through our Savior Jesus.
Hope is a good thing. It never dies. It is a reality through faith. God grant us a steadfast spirit to accept these matters, and to frame our thoughts around such humbling Law and marvelous Gospel.
Lord, the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, preserve forever this purpose and way of thinking in the heart of your people. Direct their heart to you. – 1 Chronicles 29:18 Vicar David Young