Hope on a rope

by Geoff Duffy

Religion is mankind’s search after God: Christianity is God’s search after mankind. 

Let me illustrate it this way. Imagine you are out in the sea struggling like mad to get to land in your own strength. You’re gulping in the salty stuff. You try to scream for help! Useless; your hoarse throat produces but a whisper. Your eyes are salting up. Vision is so blurred. You are treading water like crazy, and beginning to sink slowly. Exhausted! Then out of the blue, a life buoy attached to a rope splashes right beside you. Faintly you see someone on a wooden wharf-like structure yelling out; ‘Grab the rope; Grab the rope’. In desperation with both hands, you grab it in a vice-like grip. You feel the sudden wrench! 

You are swept forward with a mighty force and dragged quickly out of the ‘drowning fluid’ onto dry land. Shattered, exhausted, but so relieved. That is a picture of what salvation is like! We have a limited transient life, treading ‘water’ in our own strength, gasping for freedom, meaning, and hope in this mirky embalming fluid. Worse still, there are sharks all around. The sharks of lust, lies, bitterness, resentment, rebellion, deceit and far more; with the ‘Great White’ (actually the ‘Great Black’, death-shark), waiting until we give up and sink following our relentless efforts to save ourselves as the ‘super-swimmer’ in this life. At first, we lie on the beach panting for breath. We hug and hug the awesome salvation lifeline. We are exhausted! All is quiet! It seems surreal! 

A new world. No struggle. We are at rest; and peace washes over us! This lifeline saved us! Then breathing less deeply and now secure, we slowly open our eyes and are utterly amazed to see the One who rescued us! The rescuer was the Lord Almighty Himself. Sure, the gospel life-line was needed, but His immense love hauled us in from certain eternal death to the certain eternal life. The bigger picture is revealed! 

The gospel lifeline of total forgiveness was the Lord’s means that brought us to this new life, to know, enjoy, and love the One who rescued us from the ‘Great Black’. We are forever grateful. Utterly amazed and ever so, so thankful. But slowly it dawns on us, that being just safe on the secure stuff is only the beginning. There must be more! Yes, above all else, it is the One who rescued us who really matters. It’s a new God-given, Father-son /daughter relationship. 

We soon grasp that the gospel message and the Bible are not ends-in-themselves, but the means of coming into a new and precious relationship with the Lord God Himself. Information sure, understanding yes, revelation true; but the vital illumination of divine fellowship with the Creator of life floodlights our soul. We finally see that the lifeline was needed to get us to this safe haven and solid stuff of life. Now secure, it is not too long before we see there are now different types of animals lurking to attack us. The slithering snakes of this life still bite, but they have no venom to kill or destroy! The poison sack of guilt has already and forever been removed. The prowling lions of lies and lust, are still on the hunt. But we have been rescued! Back there in the ocean of life, we were floundering alone … but now it is so different, as the Lord Himself is always with us to protect and direct, restore, and fellowship with us. 

Forgiveness and His presence swat off the enemies’ attacks! Human hope? Nope! This is real experiential and spiritual eternal ‘Hope on a Rope’! Why the rope? Hope is securely anchored into the finished work of God’s redeeming Son*. Then it dawns on us! The wooden structure we saw dimly while screaming out in the sea was the Cross. Then in a flash, we begin to understand that the ‘Rope of Hope’ is a Person … the Lord Jesus Christ Himself … the Lifeline that rescued us from drowning in the sea of life, and now: ‘Christ in you the Hope of glory’**. Individualism is gone! We are new creatures in Christ. Worship pours out!

*Hebrews 6:18, 19 ‘… we … hold fast to the hope set before us.  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place ..’  ** Colossians 1:27 ‘.. Christ in you, the hope of glory’.  Ephesians 2:14 ‘For He Himself is our peace ..’



‘ Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” ‘ – Matthew 11:28 NLT

‘ Come close to God, and God will come close to you. ‘ – James 4:8 NLT

If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed by life or difficult circumstances, please take heart and watch this video below on hope in God’s Word. You will discover a place to rest, find peace and slowly build your strength. Be kind to yourself, and remember God wants you to lean on him. Hand over your troubles to Him and start His perfect plan to make your life new again. Rest in His hands, feel His peace and be guided by His hope and promises in His Word.

‘Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. ‘ – Isaiah 40:31 NLT



Hope in God and His Word

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