C.S.Lewis on “Hope”, from Mere Christianity

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CS Lewis on Hope

In Mere Christianity, Lewis writes:

Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do.

It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.

It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither. It seems a strange rule, but something like it can be seen at work in other matters.

Health is a great blessing, but the moment you make health one of your main, direct objects you start becoming a crank and imagining there is something wrong with you. You are only likely to get health provided you want other things more—food, games, work, fun, open air. In the same way, we shall never save civilization as long as civilization is our main object. We must learn to want something else even more.

Most of us find it very difficult to want “Heaven” at all—except in so far as “Heaven” means meeting again our friends who have died. One reason for this difficulty is that we have not been trained: our whole education tends to fix our minds on this world. Another reason is that when the real want for Heaven is present in us, we do not recognize it.

Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.

The Refrain
Help me, O Lord my God; save me for your mercy’s sake.

Mere Christianity, by C.S.Lewis

Isaiah 59:21 The Promise and Glory of our Redemption

Isaiah5921BELOVED

I opened to Isaiah 59 this morning and read aloud. My heart was swept into the power of the words. When I read 59:21, I felt as if the LORD was speaking His Living Word. The flood of His Spirit was rushing into and through the words in a way that was tangible. My heart shook. Joy rushed in…

I am not different than any other. I have known some dark days and nights and been near the hand of life’s mortal suffering. We can be tempted to feel isolated under these conditions. Circumstances can separate us from what is familiar and from what we believe that we need to fill our hearts with courage and nourishment of what has given us confidence and encouragement in times past.

It may have been family, a community, even the ability to read favorite passages in scripture. There are times when even the physical eye is weakened by illness. There are times when we could have all seeming resources at hand but the “shaking” comes from deep within as if a longstanding tremor finally awakens and longs to arise. We are called to respond because we must. The urgency of need awakens us to seek the healing, comfort, and rescue of God.

When days like this come, we need “new eyes” to look and see from. If hope recedes we need a stronger armor to put on for our confidence must come, not from our muscles, but from a lifting that only God can provide.

Sometimes, we are at war with something that needs to die within ourselves. At other times something in our lives is shifting deeply by God’s own hand and we need to respond. It can feel like a war. In times like that we, you and especially me, need to put on the Helmet of Salvation.

Isaiah 59:17 “he put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmut of salvation on his head”.

I liked Ellicott’s commentary on Isaiah 59:21 and I hope that you enjoy the Photo with the Gospel Quote.  I am adding the Greek definition of Salvation below ~ Linda

Salvation (4991) (soteria from soter = Savior in turn from sozo = save, rescue, deliver) (Click here or here for in-depth discussion of the related terms soter and sozo) describes the rescue or deliverance from danger, destruction, and peril.

Salvation is a broader term in Greek than we often think of in English. Other concepts that are inherent in soteria include restoration to a state of safety, soundness, health and well being as well as preservation from danger of destruction.

Ellicott’s Commentary Charles Ellicott-Wikipedia

(21) As for me, this is my covenant . . .—The words are, as to their form, an echo of Genesis 17:4; as to their meaning, the germ of Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews 10:16. The new covenant is to involve the gift of the Spirit, that writes the law of God inwardly in the heart, as distinct from the Law, which is thought of as outside the conscience, doing its work as an accuser and a judge.

Hebrews 8:10-11
The High Priest of a New Covenant
8 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”[a] 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said[b]:

“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.

Hebrews 10:16

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[a]