Posts Tagged ‘On Christ the Solid Rock’

A lively hope: A hope that lives

October 3, 2014

1 Peter-1-3

The times in which we are living can be so oppressive and troubling. As the Scriptures reveal, “perilous times” or “times difficult to deal with” shall come. Indeed, these dark and difficult days are here. As we confront the darkness and overwhelming despair, we must position ourselves to move in the opposite spirit or go in the opposite direction. To counter the toxic effects of the deadly element of despair, we must take a double dose of our antidote which is hope. The Verse of the Day for October 3, 2014 reminds us:

1 Peter 1:3 (KJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

“A lively hope” is rendered “a living hope” in other translations, while the New Living Translation states that because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, “Now we live with great expectation.” Indeed, “the expectation of a future good” is one definition of hope. As Christian believers we go to the Word of God where we discover what God says about hope.

The Psalmist offers this marvelous reminder:

Psalm 71:5

For you are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.

Hope counteracts thoughts of despondency, when we recognize that hope is a joyful and confident expectation. Though we are confronted with challenges on every hand, even in the face of death itself, we still have hope:

2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,

who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,

Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally.

As a child I have fond memories of singing in the Junior Choir, where I recall “leading” my first song at the age of eight or nine. Actually I did not “sing,” but I narrated the verses while the choir sang the lyrics to “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” a “vintage hymn,” which resounds with “hope.” Avalon offers a moving rendition the timeless hymn that has come to mean even more to me over the years.

In the midst of difficult situations, we reflect upon the goodness of God who has been faithful in past instances, and the Word of God assures us of His steadfast love, as we rejoice in hope, so expressed in this poem:

Rejoice in Hope

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble,

and keep on praying.

Romans 12:12 (NLT)

 

And we now truly know God is able to do

Exceedingly and abundantly above all

That our finite minds can ask or could even think.

He uplifts and strengthens us each time that we fall.

Our paths lead to disaster, to the very brink.

Despite delays and setbacks, His Word is still true:

God is faithful to His promise; He will come through.

When life begins to unravel, we may ask why

The fulfillment of His will seems to be delayed.

All those who call on Him, He will never deny.

We are assured He will reward all who have obeyed.

Our faithful God is not a man that He should lie.

Through every trial, we are covered by the Blood,

We rejoice in hope, knowing that the Lord is good.

To close out this blog entry here is a contemporary Christian song expressing great hope, “There Will be a Day” performed by Jeremy Camp.

Rejoicing in hope. . .

May 3, 2014

Romans 12 12

In Romans 12:12 we find the Verse of the Day for May 3, 2014:

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Recently as a spate of devastating storms ravaged the nation, I thought of a teaching series related to the storms of life. I recall the words of Dr. Aaron Parker, who spoke of the cycle of life, whereby, as believers, we are either in the midst of a storm or coming out of a storm and preparing to go through another storm. The statement was made following one of the most devastating and destructive storms in recent memory, Hurricane Katrina, occurring in 2005. My sister, Cheryl, who lives outside of Atlanta, had sent me the series of sermons focusing on storms, by Dr. Parker, her pastor. One of the messages inspired the following poem that uses Romans 12:12 as its epigraph or scriptural introduction:

The Prayer Directive: Strength between Storms

 

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,

continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Romans 12:12 [NKJV]

 

When it seems that we have reached our outer limits

Of exhausted options and can no longer cope,

Wrestling with unbelief, our foe that inhibits,

God’s word reminds us to keep rejoicing in hope.

We know that in patience we possess our soul.

In the midst of life’s pressures, we remain secure,

Assured that in Christ Jesus, we have been made whole,

Watching and waiting with renewed strength to endure.

As stately palm trees, we yield and bend in the wind,

And pray in the spirit, with requests that never cease.

As sweet-smelling incense, our fervent prayers ascend

In greater measure, as our petitions increase.

Though storms may overwhelm, we are still in God’s care:

Therefore rejoice, be patient, continue in prayer.

 

The Verse of the Day opens with a reminder that we should be continually rejoicing in hope. We are also mindful that Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally.

As a child I have fond memories of singing in the Junior Choir, where I recall “leading” my first song at the age of eight or nine. Actually I did not “sing,” but I narrated the verses while the choir sang the lyrics to “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” a “vintage hymn,” which resounds with “hope.” The Maranatha Singers offer a moving rendition the timeless hymn that has come to mean even more to me over the years.

In the midst of difficult situations, we reflect upon the goodness of God who has been faithful in past instances, and the Word of God assures us of His steadfast love, as the New Living Translation reminds that we are to:

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

A living hope: Great expectations

October 3, 2013

The Verse of the Day for March 18, 2014 comes from Romans 15:13 in the King James Version:

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

While reflecting on this verse which focuses on hope, I thought of a previous blog entry that also examines hope more closely, and I am re-posting it here:

The times in which we are living can be so oppressive and troubling. As the Scriptures reveal, “perilous times” or “times difficult to deal with” shall come. Indeed, these dark and difficult days are here. As we confront the darkness and overwhelming despair, we must position ourselves to move in the opposite spirit or go in the opposite direction. To counter the toxic effects of the deadly element of despair, we must take a double dose of our antidote which is hope. The Verse of the Day for October 3, 2013 reminds us:

1_Peter_1-3

“A lively hope” is rendered “a living hope” in other translations, while the New Living Translation states that because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, “Now we live with great expectation.” Indeed, “the expectation of a future good” is one definition of hope. As Christian believers we go to the Word of God where we discover what God says about hope.

The Psalmist offers this marvelous reminder:

 Psalm 71:5

For you are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.

Hope counteracts thoughts of despondency, when we recognize that hope is a joyful and confident expectation. Though we are confronted with challenges on every hand, even in the face of death itself, we still have hope:

2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,

Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally.

As a child I have fond memories of singing in the Junior Choir, where I recall “leading” my first song at the age of eight or nine. Actually I did not “sing,” but I narrated the verses while the choir sang the lyrics to “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” a “vintage hymn,” which resounds with “hope.” The Maranatha Singers offer a moving rendition the timeless hymn that has come to mean even more to me over the years.

In the midst of difficult situations, we reflect upon the goodness of God who has been faithful in past instances, and the Word of God assures us of His steadfast love, as we rejoice in hope, so expressed in this poem:

Rejoice in Hope

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble,

and keep on praying.

Romans 12:12 (NLT)

 

And we now truly know God is able to do

Exceedingly and abundantly above all

That our finite minds can ask or could even think.

He uplifts and strengthens us each time that we fall.

Our paths lead to disaster, to the very brink.

Despite delays and setbacks, His Word is still true:

God is faithful to His promise; He will come through.

When life begins to unravel, we may ask why

The fulfillment of His will seems to be delayed.

All those who call on Him, He will never deny.

We are assured He will reward all who have obeyed.

Our faithful God is not a man that He should lie.

Through every trial, we are covered by the Blood,

We rejoice in hope, knowing that the Lord is good.

To close out this blog entry here is a contemporary Christian song expressing great hope, “There Will be a Day” performed by Jeremy Camp.

All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night–Personal Poetic Responses–Part 4

January 22, 2012
The darkest hour appears just before the dawning of a new day, as, indeed, all new things begin in darkness.
What follows is the final excerpt from the prophetic word entitled All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night posted as an e-letter by John Paul Jackson, interspersed with original poetry at strategic points, as I read the words of exhortation. This is Part 4 of the message that has been posted over the last few days. Click here to view the message without the poetic inserts:

The secret is this: No matter how dark your transitional time has been, you were always going to make it in God’s book, even during these times when the light has been hidden from you. If God is your Captain, you will survive this year — and the next year and the one after that.       

The reference to God as our “Captain” brought to mind this vernacular piece of poetry                                                                “Sumpn bout to  Happen” with a refrain: “ Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n”:

 Sump’n’ bout to Happen

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth

in pain together until now.

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits     

of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,

waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Romans 8:22-23 (King James Version)

 

My stomach is a growlin; there’s a rumblin in my soul.

Good things keep on happenin, and now I’m on a roll,

Like I been workin in the mines and nearly bout to strike some gold;

I been pressin toward the mark, and I’m bout to reach my goal.

 

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n,

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

 

My heart is beatin fast, and my palms is startin to itch.

Watch out good people, I’m bout to strike it rich.

With bases loaded, all I need is one good pitch.

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n.

 

I’m lookin like a winner—aint no way I can fail

Cause I pulled two lucky cards: “Collect $200” and “Don’t go to jail.”

And I just can’t wait to run right on home and check the mail.

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

 

I can’t figure it out, but somehow I just know

That God is good and I’m movin and groovin in the flow.

Some folks want me to hang aroun, but I just got to go.

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n.

 

Everything is comin together just like someday I knowed it would.

I got this funny kinda feelin and it show nuff feels good.

I’m tryin to make you feel it too—Oh, how I wish I could.

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

 

It’s more than a woozy kinda feelin I’m trying to convey.

Yall may think I’m crazy, but I don’t care what yall say.

I’m like a little boy who can’t wait to greet each new day:

I can’t rightly describe it, but somethin great is on the way.

 

Yes, Siree Bob, Look out now! I tell you Cap’n,

I don’t know what it is but sump’n bout to happen!

 

But for right now, as God transitions you and you walk through intense times of not knowing, don’t lose hope. As the sun rises from behind the peaks and you see life again for the first time in months … you’re going to fall in love all over again. God never leaves His children in the dark. You’ll see.

As I concluded this most inspiring prophetic word, I recognized that you cannot “lose hope” if you are “Anchored in Hope”:

 Anchored in Hope

[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         whoever steps out upon  it–a hope] that reaches farther                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,                                                                                                                   

Hebrews 6:19 [Amplified Bible]                  

 With deepest gratitude for all that I have learned:

That God is so good. As far as I am concerned,

 My heart remains fixed; I continue to seek your face,

Striving to please you, to be faithful to the end.

Despite life’s trials, I press on to reach this place:

No longer a bondslave but esteemed as a friend.

In this time between Passover and Pentecost

We look up, as the fullness of time shall reveal

The King of Glory, before whom all souls shall kneel,

The Kinsman Redeemer sent to redeem the lost.

Watching, waiting, in my heart I have prepared room,

Assured by the promise of the faithful bridegroom.

Looking to see far beyond my limited scope,

I am steadfast– my soul remains anchored in hope. 

Closing Comments:

Music has become an important part of my life. Even as a child, I was fascinated with music, especially song lyrics which seemed so easy to memorize. In the poem “Song Since” I express my love for music from an early age. Some lyrics I did not fully appreciate until later in life, as this stanza reveals:

Some of my songs I sang before I knew

Any of the reasons to cherish them,

Of simple black people, humble and who

Drank in renewed strength from their vintage hymn.

 As a child I have fond memories of singing in the Junior Choir, where I recall “leading” my first song at the age of eight or nine. Actually I did not “sing,” but I narrated the verses while the choir sang the lyrics to “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” a “vintage hymn,” which resounds with “hope”:

My hope is built on nothing less                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.                               .

As believers we all attempt to navigate through a period of sustained darkness, the dark night of the soul, and many times our lives are sometimes bombarded with negative emotions, three of which are disappointment, discouragement, and despair. While these “three deadly Ds” can have a progressively devastating impact upon a believer, as “Disappointment” can lead to “Discouragement” which can ultimately produce “Despair,” their total toxic effects can be neutralized, as we go to the Word of God. Where we have been disappointed by failed expectations, we can extract positive expectations from the exceeding great and precious promises of the Word. Where we have been discouraged, we can instill courage into our lives from the Word of God, from other believers, or we can, like David, “encourage ourselves in the Lord.” And finally where we have been in despair over situations that have occurred, we can from the Word of God inject into our lives“hope–a joyful, confident expectation of a future good.” Just as the caustic effects of strong acids can be neutralized by adding strong alkaline substances or bases which produce a salt, so we implement the Word of God which is our strong base to totally neutralize the effects of three potentially devastating elements, whereby we “have salt within ourselves.” We also counteract the negative force of unbelief  when we act as Abraham, the father of faith,  who did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God:

Romans 4:17-21 (New King James Version)

17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

On that hopeful note, I conclude  All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning Through Your Dark Night by John Paul Jackson with personal poetic responses with “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” one of my most memorable hymns from childhood. This rendition is by Avalon, contemporary Christian music group:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM7vodGhOaE&feature=related

“I’m still here. . . ‘anchored in hope.’ “

May 27, 2011

According to radio minister Harold Camping, Christ was to return on May 21, 2011. Guess what? He didn't but be assured that "He shall return."

The pronouncement of radio minister Harold Camping that Jesus Christ would return precisely at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2011 drew unprecedented media attention across the globe.  Camping of Family Radio and his followers placed about 1,000 billboards across the country at an undisclosed cost, advertising “the end of the world.” In response to Camping’s predictions, most Christians referred to the words of Jesus Christ in answer to questions regarding the end times, so clearly stated in Matthew 13:32:

But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Without question Camping and his followers experienced great disappointment when May 21 came and May 22 came to pass. Some have characterized Camping’s failed apocalyptic prediction as “A Replay of the Great Disappointment,”  referring to a similar occurrence when William Miller and his followers also promoted teachings regarding Christ’s Second Coming or the Second Advent that was predicted to occur October 22, 1844. Followers of the Millerite movement used newspapers to promote their message, just as Camping and his followers used radio and other media to spread their “end-times” message.

In “Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe” you will find two blogs posted on the topic of disappointment, “a most destructive toxic emotion”:  “Facing and Overcoming Disappointment—Part I” and “Facing and Overcoming Disappointment—Part II.”

 Though many may have experienced “great disappointment” when Christ did not return on October 22, 1844 or on May 21, 2011, as predicted that he would, we are, nonetheless, assured that he shall return.  Just as we know that Jesus Christ was first born in the fullness of time, in God’s perfect timing,  even so, shall the Lord return to gather his own together. In reflecting upon recent events, I thought of this poem:

“If the Lord tarries. . .”

James 4:13-15

 

“If the Lord tarries” and “If the Lord will”:

May these phrases ever be my preface.

With each decision may I learn to be still                      

And never presume to know your desire.

Though I may read your Word and apply

It diligently to my heart to do

All you ask of me, some secrets are not

Mine to know. Once more you tell me to watch,

To prepare my heart and to look above.

Whether I understand or misconstrue,

I cannot deny I have tasted your love.

God is faithful and His word is true.

In my heart the hope continues to burn

As I yearn even more for Christ’s return.

 

No, I am not disappointed, for my soul remains anchored in hope, the essence of the message of the following poem:

 

Despite the turbulent times in which we live, Christ is the anchor of our souls, as we are achored in the hope of his return.

Anchored in Hope

[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor

of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot down under

whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther

and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,

Hebrews 6:19 [Amplified Bible]

 

With deepest gratitude for all that I have learned:

That God is so good, as far as I am concerned.

My heart remains fixed; I continue to seek your face,

Striving to please you, to be faithful to the end.

Despite life’s trials, I press on to reach this place:

No longer a bondslave but esteemed as a friend.

 In this time between Passover and Pentecost

  We look up, as the fullness of time shall reveal

  The King of Glory, before whom all souls shall kneel,

  The Kinsman Redeemer sent to redeem the lost.

  Watching, waiting, in my heart I have prepared room,

  Assured by the promise of the faithful bridegroom.

  Looking to see far beyond my limited scope,

  I am steadfast– my soul remains anchored in hope.

The verse from Hebrews 6 brings to mind the second verse  from “On Christ, the Solid Rock,” one of my all-time favorite hymns. I recall that as a youngster I narrated the words while the Junior Choir sang the song:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain:
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

The following recording taken from the album, “Together for the Gospel Live” from Sovereign Grace Music, provides comfort and assurance, as I rest in God’s unchanging grace.