System or a Saviour: Where is Your Hope for Freedom Built?

Odds are at one point you have sung the words:

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…”

Have you ever sat back to understand the application of those words?  What does that look like for us- to have our hope built on nothing less than Jesus.

We lose sight of our hope.  We place it on things that fade away.  We put expectations on people who will disappoint us, bank on opportunities that will never come, and hold on to dreams that were never meant to come true.  More than that, we depend on things that were never meant to support us!

This is true for the addict searching for freedom.  So many are hoping for an easy, peasy one-two-three sure fire system of freedom.  We want to know what we need to do in order to be free.  We want to know what works.

I shared this on the Beggar’s Daughter Facebook page a couple weeks ago.  It was a statement one of my pastors made in church:

“If you are drowning and someone throws you a line, do you praise the person or the rope?”

Read it again.  Let it sink in.  Can you imagine that, for a moment?  Imagine you were lost at sea, tired, weary of keeping your head above water, knowing that your end is soon.  You are near the point of exhaustion, when a boat enters your field of vision.  A life line is thrown your way, and you are pulled to safety.  Safe on board, you grab the rope in your hands and thank it profusely for saving you.

That’s exactly what we do, and, no, it doesn’t make any sense.

God has a message of freedom and He shares that in His word and through His people.  It gets packaged in different ways but the message is still the same.  When we hear it, how often do we praise the package and not the Saviour?  Then, when our magical package doesn’t have the answers, we get frustrated.

Of course we get frustrated.  When we place our hopes in anything other than Christ– whether that be marriage, a support group, an accountability partner, or a filtering software– the only result is frustration.  Those are tools on the road of freedom.  Our hope for freedom is not found in tools, it is found in Christ.

If you find your journey of freedom is being frustrated, check your dependency.  Are you leaning on Christ or searching for a system?

Because so often what we do is search for a specific tool.  We want an accountability group, but not just any accountability group- we want an accountability group that has coffee and brunch during their meetings.  We want a five-step program.  We want an accountability partner that knows exactly what we are going through.

We want something structured that we can depend on.  We want something that has all the answers.  We want something that makes logical sense to us.  We want to see the beginning and  the end, and our hope is directly related to our ability to see the end.

But we don’t need to see the path to the end.  We just need to know that the end is freedom if we place our hope in Christ.  Not what we think He can do but in who He is.  Sometimes we place our hope in His ability to save us.  Can He save us?  Absolutely.  The problem is we know how we want Him to save us, and when His plan doesn’t line up with ours, we lose hope in His ability to heal.  Maybe He doesn’t really understand.  Maybe He doesn’t know our pain.  Maybe He doesn’t know the depths of our struggle (but an accountability group- they would understand).

Our hope cannot be built in a system or even an attribute of our God- it has to be rooted in God Himself.  Our God is a God of freedom, but above that, He is a God of restoration, love, and healing.  We get frustrated when it seems He gets distracted.  No, God, we say, I don’t want to deal with bitterness right now.  I want You to free me from masturbation. 

That’s His intent too, but His greater intent is to make us whole- to fill us with the abundant life promised to us by Christ.  For that, we have to trust Him.  We have to base our hope in Him- not a system, not what we want Him to do, but in Christ alone.  Don’t praise the rope; praise the Saviour.

“In Christ alone, my hope is found.  He is my light my strength, my song.  This cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm… here in the love of Christ, I stand.”