Every year, Chick Climbers has a theme. This year, it’s hope. I love that word, hope. It’s everywhere in the Bible and is tied to so many actions through out the Bible. It’s also used in the world as a doubt, “I hope it won’t rain today” “I hope my car makes it” “I hope this is a good recipe” “I hope I make it to heaven” In Webster’s Dictionary, hope is defined as a feeling that what is wanted will happen or a desire accompanied by expectation. Hope defined in the Bible is “to trust in, to wait for, to desire something or someone. Notice the biblical definition doesn’t convey a doubt.
In 2 Corinthians 3:12 it says, “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” Paul is contrasting the difference from the Old Testament law to the New Covenant. He’s saying we can be bold in our speech and our lives because of the hope we have in Jesus and the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in us.
Now, let’s define boldness. Webster defines bold as “daring, fearless, to free in manner” the Bible defines boldness as “the courage to act or speak fearlessly, despite real or imagined dangers”. One sense of boldness comes from self, the other requires humility as we recognize we can’t be bold on our own.
When I first started thinking about this verse, I thought it tied in perfectly with climbing. Shouldn’t being bold be something we want to be in climbing? How else are we going to become better climbers unless we make bold moves and gain confidence? Climbing messes with our heads. We know we’re safe, but our thoughts tell us something different and sometimes we have to push past our fears to reach the next hold. Sometimes we just have to make the decision to be bold to make the move we’re scared of and hope it sticks. See how the use of hope conveyed doubt.
There’s a debate in the climbing world right now about if boldness should be celebrated. I mean, how else are you going to climb harder climbs unless you’re bold?? The debate has to do with putting yourself in an unnecessary risky situation that you aren’t ready for just to say you did a hard move or free solod, you get the idea. Yes, it’s good to push yourself in climbing, but you have to know where your line is and get as close to it without doing something completely reckless. In other words, pushing yourself to the end of your comfort zone but not out of your comfort zone. There’s a saying in climbing that you can be a bold climber, or you can be an old climber, but you can’t be a bold, old climber. You have to know your skill level, the repercussions if you fail, your mental ability to see clearly and stay calm, it’s all on you.
Praise the Lord that our hope is in Jesus and that our boldness comes not from relying on self but on the Holy Spirit. Our hope must be in Jesus if we are Christ followers because there is no sense of doubt in Him. Because of Jesus, we can come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) Being bold in Jesus and the gospel means that we can step out of our comfort zone and talk to someone about the Lord, we can follow Him in things He’s asking us to do because we trust in Him. We can say things we need to because of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We can boldly take a stand on the immorality of this world because our hope is in Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:7&8 says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of Lord.”
As this devo was forming in my mind, I was struck by how opposite the 2 concepts of boldness are. One is based on self and staying on the edge of your comfort zone, the other is based on God and stepping out of your comfort zone. Just like everything else, the worldly way of boldness is opposite of God’s. The worldly way of hope is a feeling, the Godly hope is an action.
Should we be bold in our climbing? Absolutely! Make those moves, push yourself, step up to the challenge but let’s also follow the 2nd half of Proverbs 28:1 “But the righteous are bold as a lion.” And speak truth today and encourage one another in our faith as well.
I’d like to close with Hebrews 10:19-24 “Therefore, sisters, since we have boldness to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
If you want to have the boldness that comes in hope in Jesus, please ask Renee, Sally, Denise, or I and we’d be glad to visit with you. If you have that boldness from hope, use it!