Links Daily Devotional

Our Hope in God

If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalms 130:3-5, NIV)

Sometimes I just want to play golf and not keep score. It would be so much more fun sometimes to just play the game without any thought for the final outcome. It’s the score that puts all the pressure on us. We define our success by that score, and for most of us it is the ultimate reason we play. But what if our real success was measured by a different formula? What if it depended more on our attitude toward adversity, our pleasure with the beauty that surrounds us, and the humble heart of one who realizes that the very capacity to swing a golf club is a gift from God?

God is the One who measures our success, which is determined by the degree of our trust in him.We need look no further than to our everyday life for the answer to that question. There is no final score for our life based on our own efforts. If there was, we would all have a big fat zero behind our name. We are helpless and hopeless without the love and mercy of the One who made us.

We are flawed, and struggle as we might to fix ourselves, we cannot find a way to make a good score on our own. We need help. We need forgiveness. We need power. We need grace and mercy. We can’t manufacture any of these things on our own. Ultimately we must look outside ourselves to find those things we need to not only survive but to finish the match with a score at all.

The One who could keep records doesn’t. For all who turn to him for help, he wipes out the record of sin and forgives us. That is our hope as Christians. We put our hope for success and life in him.

Our life can be lived and we can be a success in God’s eyes. It may not seem like a success in anybody else’s eyes, but we play out our life to an audience of One. He keeps our score and looks at our feeble efforts as an offering of love returned to him. He is pleased with our progress but urges us to press on to the end. He wants us to grow and mature in the power of his love for us. We will make mistakes and land in hazards, but he doesn’t hold those against us. He just hands us back the club and says, “Try again with my help this time.”

In the end, our life is lived only because God grants us life and existence. He is the One who measures our success, which is determined by the degree of our trust in him. To be a true winner in life we must count on his ability to help us get to the end, knowing full well that we don’t have the strength or ability to get there on our own.

Linda Ballard
March 10, 2016
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