“He then is all my hope and stay.” This line is from an old hymn; one of my father’s favorites and one of mine. In these days between the first and second coming of Christ, the circumstances in the world are fraught with uncertainty and troubles of all kinds. Kings and leaders, good ones and bad ones, have risen and fallen. Nations have been at war, and there are yet rumors of war. The world is in constant motion and situations are always changing. “When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.” (On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, by Edward Mote 1834)
The use of the word “stay” here is rather old fashioned, but the connotation is one of anchoring, establishing and constancy. You see, He never changes. He is always true, and He is always truth. He said to His disciples in Mark 13:7, “…when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled….” And in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus was offering them, and He offers us, Himself. In Him alone are we anchored in turbulent times. In Him alone are we moving in hope toward His return. In Him alone are we empowered to love those who are for us and also those who are against us. We are free to move with great flexibility and agility in the love of God because we are tethered to the that which is fixed and immovable. He is our anchor beyond the veil.
We can be certain that in this life on planet Earth, we will have trouble, trials and tribulations. But He says,, “Be of good cheer.” We believe Him, and we are encouraged to live as though there really is more to living than what meets the eye or the ear or the flesh and bone of this existence. There’s more to living, because our life is in Him, who came that we might have life everlasting. This abundant life is effervescent, fountains of living water. It never runs dry, and it is a constant source of joy and peace and righteousness. In the midst of chaos, when all around us things that used to be dependable fall away, He is all our hope and stay.
And the cheer (also a rather old fashioned word) in our hearts that affects our demeanor is part of the light we bring to the darkness in the world around us. If we have the joy of the Lord and His peace ruling in our hearts, those who don’t know Him may ask what is the reason for our hope. Then we have been given an opportunity to introduce them to this One who is the Savior and anchor of our souls.
I pray for you and for us as Paul did in his letter to the church in Philippi, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV)
Until next week, beloved, stand firm in the victory of Christ, and live with abandon the life He purchased for you.