14 Sep 2017

“My Hope is Built…”

A couple of Sundays ago in our worship service, my husband, Pastor Timothy W. Carpenter, felt a strong leading to dismiss the song list that had been rehearsed for that day.  He informed the worship team and the congregation that we were going to go “old school” and sing only the hymns and worship music that many of us grew up on.  It was like a breath of fresh air as the congregation quickly began to feel the presence of the Lord with each song.  Some began to come up and share a brief testimony of what the songs meant to them, how it touched the depths of their souls and ministered to them right at the very point of their present need. 

We normally have the words of our worship music displayed on a large screen, but because these songs were impromptu we found ourselves having to dig deep into the portals of our memory banks to recapture the words.  As I looked around I noticed it didn’t take long for everyone to catch on and get engaged.  During that service, it occurred to me that it is the old hymns that stick to your soul like a good meal sticks to your bones as the old folks say.  Please be assured I have nothing against the worship music of today.  My spirit is often touched not only by the music but also many of the lyrics.

I was preparing for this week’s blog and one of those old hymns jumped up in my spirit, “The Solid Rock”.  However, when I was growing up I remember calling it “My Hope Is Built” probably because those are the very first words of the song.  With all that is going on in our chaotic world today, I believe we all are looking for that place of solace.  That place where fears subside, worries fade, and where we are barricaded from the ever-pressing rat race of life.  We sometimes trust in people, places, and things to provide that place of solace but if and when that is successful it is only a temporary solution.  

I have been so blessed in my lifetime to have been surrounded by people I know I can trust.   I have unquestionable trust in my loving husband, my children, my siblings, my parents when they were alive, and others.  Yet it would be unreasonable and unfair to put my trust and my HOPE in them!   There is a huge difference between the two although they are often lumped in the same proverbial basket.  I especially appreciated two of the definitions in dictionary.com when looking at the word HOPE and associating it with our Lord.  The first describes hope as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.  My favorite one however is, being a person or thing in which expectations are centered.  Clearly anyone who has a relationship with the Lord can identify with both of these definitions.  Our Father is the ONLY ONE who knows and has the power to works things out not just for our good, but for our best!  Furthermore, when we are fully aware of that fact, then all our expectations should and must be centered in Him!  The first verse of that old hymn, “The Solid Rock” establishes the place wherein our hope should rest.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand –
All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.”

In closing I would paraphrase the words of that precious hymn in this manner. Any “building” that has even the slightest chance of standing the test of time and elements of life must be built on a solid foundation.  Jesus’ blood that He shed for us and His undeniable righteousness is the foundation in which we can build our hope.   We cannot trust anything that looks “sweet” or “safe” but we must completely lean of Jesus’ name.  He is our solid Rock, our steadfast, unmovable foundation – everything else is as sinking sand.  Our hope for today, our hope for tomorrow, our hope for eternal life is Jesus.

Source: First Lady Denise