God Brings Hope to the Heart

            God is love and is the source of all things good. He also is living and active in this world and because of Him there is hope.

            Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’” People are not naturally evil because we were created to be like Him: which is good. Since Adam and Eve partook of the fruit in the Garden of Eden, mankind has had the capacity to sin. Due to this, Paul’s description of a, “crooked and twisted generation” in Philippians 2:15 can be applied to every age. Paul admits that in every person there is a constant struggle between good and evil. Romans 7:18-21 reads, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.”

            If evil is always close at hand in the hearts, minds, and actions of us all then where is there hope? Romans 7:23 says, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Jesus Christ came down to save us all from our sins through His death on the cross. Romans 6:4-5 says, ”We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” By bathing in the symbolic waters of baptism that represent His shed blood, our previous sins become atoned for in the eyes of God.

            During baptism a person also accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and makes a vow to be obey His teachings. Romans 12:1-2 reads, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Christ has the power to renew our minds, but we must let Him do so by relying on His strength and have the discipline to keep ourselves aligned to His teachings.

            1 John 5:18-19 says, “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Since the devil has power over the world He will try to get us to believe that it is hopeless. Yet, where God is there is hope. God’s goodness and attributes can be seen all around us (Romans 1:20). His likeness can be witnessed in all of us and if we choose to accept Him through baptism then His Spirit will also reside in us. Hope exists. God is living and active in this world. The question is: are we living and active in God?