We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
- Hebrews 6:19-20
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
- 1 Peter 3:15-18
“What are you placing your hope in for the future? Your country’s government, educational system, some plan or organization? My hope is in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God. I have hope and know that I’m going to heaven. And, right here and now in this present life, I have God’s presence to help me. Suppose we had no Bible. Suppose there were no cross, no salvation, no empty tomb. Suppose we had nothing to hang on to except, ‘Do your best, try to patch it up, do what you can.’ Oh, but we have a hope. There is a plan of redemption, a plan for the future. The New Testament is an exciting Book to read, it is so full of hope and expectancy. And God is interested in you!”
- Billy Graham, Day by Day with Billy Graham (June 1)
With Billy Graham, as it is with any good evangelist or pastor, the answer is Jesus. Regardless of the rabbit holes that are entered, when you come up for air, the focus is always Jesus.
Once upon a time, there was a young boy who had just taken a test. He was so sure that he had done well on his test, but when the teacher asked for a private conference with him after class, she looked concerned. She said that she was at his church the past Sunday. She heard the preacher’s sermon. She said that the pastor was correct in what he said. Then she said, “But, Johnny, the answer to every question is not ‘Jesus’ when it comes to a math test.”
We need not belabor the things that Billy Graham offered as alternatives, but so many fall into that trap. Two hundred plus years ago in the USA, our forefathers established a nation that they thought would last forever, a nation where we could worship God in truth. Now, people are afraid to mention the word ‘Jesus’ unless as profanity. Our government has deserted us. Our education system is crumbling. Teachers hold on to survive instead of focusing on teaching. The children run the asylum, having enough power to create anarchy; might we call it Hell. Woody Allen, odd to quote him, said that if you wanted God to laugh, tell him your plans. So, that won’t work. And what organization can provide you hope and peace? Many promise things of that nature, but all are made by man. All have flaws. All, in their unwritten code, expect you to sacrifice to and for them.
But God, in the person of Jesus, has already paid the sacrifice. God loves us and wants a relationship with us. It may be hard to live a life of devotion to God, but we all have troubles. As Billy Graham supposed us not having this and that, I went down that road. As I did, I had this overpowering feeling of hopelessness pass over me.
I am just a man who has made his share of mistakes, and I am sure to make a few more. But I have found Joy in God, knowing that the most powerful force in the universe, who created the universe, loves me. Wow! Forget supposing that ‘what if there never was a Bible.’ Imagine the truth. Imagine reality, once you understand.
I have also found Hope. In each trial in my life, I have turned to Jesus. What do other people turn to? Protestors of late turn to violence, arson, flag burning, and whatever other acts of destruction. All they get in return is chaos. Their actions work against their goal. They have no power that transcends the earthly realm. Only God does that. And He is standing there with open arms. He loves you, and He wants you to love Him back.
I have Peace. I know that God has brought me to this place. If this were my last breath on this earth, I know that my next breath would be taken in Jesus’ arms. I am content.
And it wouldn’t be a week of Billy Graham quotes without ending with Just As I Am. This video even has the Cliff Barrows story from the England crusade in the 1960s.
You too can have Joy, Hope, and Peace. You can release the barriers that you have built up, holding God out of your life. You can accept Jesus as your Savior and your Lord, trusting in Him without reservation in every aspect of your life. Jesus is truly the only answer in the spiritual realm and the only Hope in the world and in everything beyond.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.