Posted tagged ‘Psalms’

My Source of Hope

July 30, 2015

By Dr. Steven J. Callis

In our challenging English language, some people confuse hope with wishful thinking. For example, “I hope the Braves win a spot in the playoffs.” Because hope is a genuine trust or expectation, the use of the term in that example only expresses a wish.

True hope means that we trust our life, present and future, to an object or person. I like sports, and I root for the Braves, but my life and future do not depend on their making the playoffs. I “hope” they do; I “wish” they would, but I have not staked my life on their success.

Among the list of those who have spoken or written on the significance of hope, Thomas Pettepiece wrote, “When there is no hope, there is no life. Without hope we give up – – we lose our will to fight, to trust, to live.” So, it is appropriate that each of us evaluate the source of our hope today.

The trend of our nation these days is to demand personal rights regardless of how it affects others, and to make such demands on the premise of political correctness. These challenges, some recent and others longstanding, may cause us to wonder if there are any existing values that are off limits to special-interest groups and political agendas. Some citizens would claim that even the Constitution itself is being ignored for the sake of personal and political interests.

Are there no traditions valuable enough to save? Are there no absolutes on which we can depend anymore? Can we survive on the philosophy that something is right or correct only when approved by my own selfish, personal standards?

Pettepiece proposed that we cannot hope in ourselves, our technology, our government, our laws, our tenacity, our courage, or our will, though these things are all necessary to conquer today’s woes and provide justice. Our only hope, he declares, is in God alone.

For those of us who agree with him, our hope has come under serious attack over recent months, even years. As the challenges become more frequent and broader in scope, it could be that we lose sight of the Source of our hope, and then hope wanes, as does our will to fight and trust.

Edward Albert Day once wrote of God, “There is nothing that at any time diminishes His perfections, dilutes His redemptive powers…God is always God.”

Who or what is the source of your hope today? What drives you to awaken each morning and face your day with confidence and purpose? The Psalmist proclaimed, “I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.” God is always God, and you can trust in Him.

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Try It, You’ll Like It

April 29, 2014
by Steven J. Callis
Though I have come quite a long way, I still consider myself a picky eater.  I can be a big boy and include things like broccoli, green beans, squash, zucchini, and cauliflower in a meal, though I’d prefer meat and taters any day of the week.
I have heard it said that collards and greens have an “acquired” taste.  I am not certain how much tasting must be done before it is acquired, but apparently one bite once every year or so is not often enough.  Maybe if they smelled like chocolate or vanilla rather than, well, whatever it is that they smell like…and maybe if they were red or yellow rather than green…and crunchy rather than leafy…
I just think, if I have to work at liking it, why bother, when it is so much simpler to just eat stuff that already tastes good?  Surely whatever “good” there is in those leafy things could be found in a vitamin or something!  I have never heard anyone say that chocolate is an acquired taste!
The Psalmist declared, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  He says nothing about an acquired taste.  You will be happy and satisfied when you test/taste Him.  Checking various versions of Scripture, that statement does not change. However, the next part of the verse includes differing verbs among the several translations.  They include…
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
Blessed is the man that trusts in Him.
Blessed is the man who hopes in Him.
Blessed is the man that takes shelter in Him.

The manner of “tasting” has to do with trust and hope and refuge, and those who do so will be blessed.  No acquiring necessary!