Joining the Dots of Truth, Belief and Hope
One of my favourite games as a child was to play join the dots with my grandfather. As we progressively joined all the dots by following the numbers on the page, a picture would begin to form. We had to believe that following the numerical sequence would lead us to a final shape or image, usually an animal of some nature. Once all the dots were accurately joined, there was much excitement to see the end result.
Pondering our theme of hope with belief, we see that God reveals Himself as the living God. As we read the Scripture and join the dotes of truth, belief and hope, the Biblical pattern emerges, and we discover God’s story as the meta-narrative for life and ultimate reality. It defines how we can know and believe in God and enjoy the coherency of a life defined by authentic hope. We come into an understanding that belief in God is not some “pie in the sky” false reality based on a mythical, dead, pagan God. It is the living God who we believe in. Hope with belief is only possible because God is exactly who He says He is, living and ruling the universe in all power and authority. As we exercise our faith and trust in God, the dots of truth, belief and hope are joined, and form a picture of life in relationship with the living God.
1 Timothy 4:10 is a wonderful expression of this truth. “. . . our hope is set on the living God who is the Saviour of all people, especially those who believe”. What a beautiful picture this verse paints for those who believe. Our role is not to try and generate hope; it is to recognise that God himself is the living God and as we encounter Him through faith and belief, we have hope. Hope outside of belief in God is therefore, at best like firing arrows out into a blank night, crossing our fingers and wishing for it, against the odds to hit the target, whatever that target may be. When we fire the arrows of belief in God, the target of truth is clear, and we will confidently hit it every time. Hope is directly connected to belief in the one true God who faithfully responds to those who believe.
The world has shifted its eyes off the living God and lives with the consequences of despair, resulting from faith in false realities that chant promises of the good life, but blushes in the face of emptiness when life comes up barren, devoid of truth, belief, and hope. As this godless world gains momentum, stirring up empty human hearts that long for genuine hope, the only possible pathway for restoration is to return to the foundational pillar of belief in the living God and whose love was so great, it caused Him to stretch salvation from the Nation of Israel to the ends of the earth to ensure every person can know redemption and live in the light of renewed hope.
Friends, more than any time in human history we need to join the dots of belief to God’s truth in order to live with authentic hope. Hope with belief is an entity of God’s kingdom that gives us a true picture of how God intended life to be.