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Hope Always Looks Ahead

The earliest known rear-view mirror mounted on a race car appeared on Ray Harroun‘s car at the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. Harroun himself claimed he got the idea from seeing a mirror used for a similar purpose on a horse-drawn vehicle in 1904. Harroun also claimed that the mirror vibrated constantly due to the rough brick surface, and it was rendered largely useless. [Wikipedia].

Ok, I don’t know about you but I’d like to see a horse with a rear view mirror, awkwardly angled from a chestnut mane. That seems silly doesn’t it. But some people act like they’ve got a rearview mirror super glued to the side of their cranium. Listen, you can’t walk backward into the future. Don’t have a rearview mirror mentality. Quit looking behind you. You may have made mistakes, said some things you shouldn’t have ...done some things you regret. It’s time for a NEW VIEW. You may have been through some rough and bumpy roads, but God always makes a way. I encourage you to look ahead. Hope is optimistic.

Let’s look closer at Acts 2 which is the focus of today’s devotional.

Acts 2:25-28 KJV

[25] For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: [26] Therefore did my heart (my mind) rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: [27] Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. [28] Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

First, God has Got Your Back

Peter, in his mind’s eye is quoting from Psalm 16....For David says of Him [Jesus], ‘I saw the Lord always in my presence; for He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken (NASB)”. The verse in Hebrew more specifically reads, “I have set the Lord continually before me.” It’s a choice, a deliberate action. I am going to focus on God, not my circumstances. To have the Lord at ones right hand in biblical times signified protection. God told Isaiah that He would be Immanuel... God with us. He was with us then, and He is with us today. Have you made up your mind to trust God? Have you made that decision? Once you choose God, all the other decisions get easier. God is with you and he has your back. God watches over us and protects us. Isa 49:16 says “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls [of protection] are continually before me.”

Make a decision to stick with God and look what happens, you will be happier… Our text says your heart and mind rejoices. You get a different attitude… Your tongue is actually glad to talk differently. Look at you, Mr. or Miss Positive.

Second, I am not going anywhere “Moved” in the text literally means ‘shaken like an earthquake’. It may seem rough out there right now. The very ground under your feet may seem unstable but God is a very present help. Set your mind on him. Make up your mind that not even an earthquake is going to shake your confidence and trust in God. David said it like this ...”my heart is fixed”! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your dog ... and tell yourself, I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to trust the Lord. The Christian writer Max Lucado said it like this, “Others see the problems of the world and wring their hands. We see the problems of the world and bend our knees.” There is no problem that will make me go lower than my knees.

The King James Version of our text tells us to… “Rest in hope”. This can be translated, “to pitch one's tent, to fix one's abode, to dwell” HOPE. Where are you living? Don’t pitch your tent in fear, don’t hang out in anxiety. Don’t wander and worry. God wants you to dwell, live, camp out, and hope. You may say I am not an outdoors person, I get it. Here is one place you can camp, bug free, camp out in hope.

Finally, hell is not my final destination.

Repeat that in the midnight hour, in times of doubt or worry. Tell yourself, I have trouble but I am not staying here. This passage from our text tells us that He won’t leave our soul in hell. I didn’t say life was not difficult. We all go through trials. We have problems, we have sorrow, we suffer, some things we don’t understand. But God knows the way that you take. He’s going to bring you through your trouble, through any trial. God’s not going to leave you hopeless. You’re going to come through your dilemma. Whatever you’re going through right now, God is going to be with you. God won’t leave you in trouble. Night doesn’t last forever and neither do storms. Our final destination is heaven. Paul said I ‘press toward the mark’. Keep going. You are going to make it.

You didn’t need that rearview mirror anyway. Remember, Hope always looks ahead.

Rev. Mark Cooper

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