False Hope

by Joseph Franks

Why could you not sleep last night? What troubles you?

Do you have family problems? Is it aging parents, angry parents, a dishonest marriage, or disobedient children that keeps you awake?

Do you struggle financially? Are you swimming in a sea of debt? Has the fountain of income slowed down to drip?

Are health issues first and foremost in your mind? Perhaps you are plagued by disease or disability? Or worse yet, is it a loved one whose physical trials keep you tossing in bed?

Are you longing for better governmental leadership? Has Fox News or CNN got you in a dither? Do you “remember the good old days” and grieve over the modern trajectory of your city, state, nation, and world?

Is it issues with your church that troubles you? Do you find your house of worship to be too liberal, too legalistic, too controlling, too superficial, too cold, or too much lacking the power of the Holy Spirit?

Perhaps it is your own sin and dysfunction? Is there something you know about yourself that no one else knows? Are you more sordid than you appear? Have you a secret lust that has become an uncontrollable addiction?

Or is it something far less important and significant, something like real estate or soccer.

Well, what are you going to do about it today? Where will you go for help? In whom or in what will you put your trust?

Perhaps Psalm 33 will inform your mind and your heart:

The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.  (Psalm 33:16-22)

Friends, do not be like the foolish king. He trusts and hopes in his great army, his great strength, and his great horse. Consequently, because he places his confidence in something or someone other than God, he is not rescued, and is hope is proven to be false. Consider all the possible sources of false hope to which you can turn today:

  • Mood Enhancing Substances
  • Food
  • Sex / Pornography
  • Ending Current Relationships
  • Finding New Relationships
  • Shopping / Purchases
  • Loans / Credit
  • Political Action
  • Vacations
  • Changing Churches
  • Athletics
  • Laughter / Comedy
  • Media
  • Technology
  • Parties / Hedonistic Revelry
  • Pop Psychology
  • False Religion / Unholy Worship

Yes, these are examples of persons, practices, or things which promise to soothe and save, and do provide some sort of temporary relief, but in the end they provide no rescue. In the end, they only offer you a false hope, and you are in poorer shape than yesterday.

So instead, follow the instruction of the wise king. He knows the eye of the Lord is on him, so he keeps his eyes on the Lord. He knows the Lord “delivers from death” and/or “keeps men alive in famine” so he hopes in his God of love. So my troubled friends, place your hope in him:

  • Read his Word.
  • Pray without ceasing.
  • Gather with his people and worship together.

Wait on him, he is your help and your shield. He is the one who can rescue you from your troubles today. He is the one who can assist you if he does not rescue you. He is the one who will ultimately cure all that ails you. And until then, he will make your heart glad, even if he chooses not to make your way easy.

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