A LIVELY Hope!
The sun is beginning to set and the magic begins. A cool breeze cuts through the humidity of a South Texas September night. Suddenly, one after the other, the lights begin to illuminate the field. In the distance, the sounds of the rival bands are warming up to do their job. Batons are twirling, chants are being sounded and the Hornets are amping up in the end zone to meet their opponent. There is a definite excitement throughout the stands. That’s how many of our Friday nights are spent here in Texas. For this mama, there is no better place to be. This particular Friday, we had the pleasure of enjoying the game with some of our dear friends and their children. This was their kids first high school football game and they were so excited to cheer Judah and the team on. As the game began, one of their five year old little boys, eased his way up into my lap. He grabbed my face with his two little hands and said, “Mrs. Wendy, what are they doing out there? Why are they trying to get that guy with the ball?” With as much knowledge as this mama has, I began to commentate the game to him. I don’t think ESPN is going to be calling on me anytime soon, but he and I were enjoying ourselves. It was 3rd down and just a few yards away from another 1st down. The ball is snapped, handed off and our guy breaks away and scores! I jumped up from my seat, with their 5 year old in my arms and begin yelling in excitement. After my sudden outburst, I sat down and he quickly looked at me and said,” Mrs. Wendy, why are you so excited?” After giving him the best explanation I could muster up, we returned to our play by play commentating and left the game that night with a WIN!
Later that weekend, I was reading my bible and came across this scripture. 1 Peter 1 : 3 (KJV) reads,” 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.” As I read this scripture, the words spoken to me that Friday night resounded in my heart, “Why are you so excited?” I had a quick response to my excitement about my son’s football game. Do we have the same quick response to that question in our daily life? Or is anyone even prompted to ask you that question? Every morning we wake up should be like the minutes preceding a rival football game. We should be preparing for what we are about to encounter. We should be expecting a Victory, a win! This scripture in 1 Peter tell us that according to the MERCY that God has given us, we should be living with a LIVELY hope! As I read this scripture, I was prompted to look up the definition of lively. Webster’s dictionary defines lively as:
· Full of life and energy
· Active and outgoing
· Briskly alert
· Resilient; Quick to Rebound
· Responding readily to the Helm (the position of control)
As I read how the dictionary defined lively, I got so excited I could hardly contain myself. God has called us and blessed us to have a LIVELY hope! Is the hope that you emanate in your daily life enough to have people ask you, “Why are you so excited?” Our hope should not be dictated by circumstances. Our hope should be in the one who is unchanging, unwavering, the beginning and the end, the author and the finisher of our faith… Can I get an AMEN? God’s grace and mercy has been so freely given to us, now we must display it in our lives in such a way that people want the hope that is inside of us!
Oh, if we could just grasp the essence of the importance of having a LIVELY hope, what impact would we have on the world around us? What would happen if each morning, you approached the coming day full of life and energy? Does that mean we won’t get tired, surely not. But the expectancy and hope of what God has ahead of us that day should exceed the weariness and spur us on to be an example of God’s amazing grace. How different would we approach each day if we were “briskly alert”, looking intently for those unexpected God moments that may just change the course of someone’s life?
There were many times during that football game last Friday night where we lost yards, got tackled, didn’t execute a play as intended. Did we just quit playing and go home? That’s not even an option in a Friday night football game! So why should it be an option in our daily walk with Christ. We need to be “resilient, quick to rebound”. Just because we may get knocked down, doesn’t mean we need to just give up. Some time we may feel like we have been hit harder than we’ve been before, but the grace and mercy of God is great enough to help us get up and “play harder” than we ever have before! Don’t let the enemy put you on the “defense”, remind him you have already won, and start living life like you “have the ball” and are believing for another touchdown!
I love the last part of the definition of lively. Webster’s dictionary said, “responding readily to the helm.” When I looked at the definition of helm, one description was, “ the position of control.” We must be responding readily to the one who is in control. When God calls we must respond. My husband has shared with my boys many times a story about him in high school when he was playing football. He tells them of how he was not a starter on the team, but during the game, he followed the coach up and down the sidelines, waiting for his moment to go into the game. In the heat of the game, the coach grabbed him by the jersey and said get in there. Now, if he had not been close to the one calling the plays, his opportunity may have been missed. God is asking us to stay close. To live in his presence. To seek his face. To walk with Him. Are you responding readily to the helm?
Get yourself ready today… the game is about to begin. I can hear the excitement, I can sense the anticipation. A new day is ahead of you and you have the great opportunity to carry the HOPE of Jesus Christ everywhere you go! Live for him today in such a way that people are going to stop and ask, “Why are you so excited?” God is not done with you yet. Give him full authority in your life. Suit up and tackle this day with a LIVELY HOPE!