Thank you for being with us through this series on Keys. I designed Keys to help you understand how God feels about you, and my prayer has been that you would find peace knowing that God is merciful, gracious, loving and faithful. There are many times in life that we may doubt the truth of who Jesus is. This is normal. In the midst of difficulties and doubts though, we choose to trust Jesus.

When I am in a season of wondering, I use the illustration of driving through a neighborhood. As I look around, I can see where I am, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy a house and move in. Saying this is a way for me to try to articulate how I feel at the moment, trusting that I won’t always feel like this. It allows me to be honest.

It also allows me to have hope. Hope that Jesus as the Truth will shine bright enough for me to find my way through. Hope in trusting Jesus likes and loves me, I will see His activity in my life and that He will carry me to the other side.

Paul wrote in Romans 5:3-5   “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

The Biblical authors all knew that following Jesus was going to be hard, that it would cost us to be loyal to Jesus. They knew that we would be going counter to the culture around us, that we would stand out from the crowd, that we would be a threat to the order of this world, that we would be foreigners and nomads in this life. Their consistent message to us is to stand firm in trusting Jesus.

Our loyalty to Christ over time produces endurance, just like distance running. The longer we do it, the longer we can do it. This is a hopeful thought isn’t it?

I want to be clear about what our Hope is. Our hope is not that everything in life will go our way. It is not that we will get what we want. It is not just that in the end it will all work out, though this is true. Our Hope is the stability of our lives lived with Jesus at the center of order. This is how though there may be tumult around us, we are firm on the rock, not swayed by wind and waves. Our hope is none other than Jesus’ presence with us.