In the secret place lie unmined treasures.
DURING A UNIVERSITY SPEAKING engagement, I was handed a question scribbled on a note card from a student who hesitated to come to the microphone. It read, “The state of humankind as we know it is on a serious downward spiral, and from my perspective, it’s only getting worse. Do you have any hope in the future of humankind and specifically our generation, and if so, why?” I was both saddened and heartened to read his question. Overwhelmed by the maze of conflicts facing humanity, this young heart sought a way out. I believe he represents large numbers of young people in the world. Students today are not easily taken in; they do not trust readily. Their questions show a depth and an understanding of our world that is lost in the shuffle of cynicism and fear.
What thoughts occupy my mind as I ponder the world at this present time? Above anything else, I, like the young man from the university, want to believe in hope for the future. I see reason for sorrow and realize that hope, like character, takes years to build—and minutes to shatter. But hope, like character, can also rise beyond the moment to reinvest in what is of ultimate
value: a relationship with God. This hope points in cumulative strength to the
person and power of a God who is real, and will not let you down.
In the closet of our lives lies the fullness of his riches. In the secret place lie unmined treasures. Prayer is at once the place of victory and freedom and yet the place into which we are so reticent to step. We can either dismiss this as merer rhetoric or face the grim fact that prayerlessness is the scavenger of hope.
As I travel the globe speaking and listening to so many voices, I am utterly convinced that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope for our troubled world. And this is why we as believers desperately need to commit our lives to prayer and to the
study and application of God’s Word, for how we need to hear his voice and manifest his truth and love above the din
of hopelessness and fear. In the closet of our lives lies the fullness of his riches. In the secret place lie unmined treasures. Prayer is at once the place of victory and freedom and yet the place into which we are so reticent to step.We can either dismiss this as mere rhetoric or face the grim fact that prayerlessness is the scavenger of hope.
Likewise, Psalm 119 reminds us that God’s Word is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path. In the darkness of our world, the light of Scripture shines brightly. God has given us the map and shown us the precious cost of our journey home. There is a language to it, there are boundaries for it, and there is danger in it. Some days will be hard and painful and other days will be joyous and delightful—they are all are part of the same geography.We must keep our eye on Him and the delight of reunion with Him, bearing the good with the hard and accepting all as real, but letting none diminish the grand, ultimate sight and sound of his presence. If we are to sing in the company of those who have known Him intimately and triumphed, we must be girded by the sword of his Word, be guided by the great ones who have walked this way before, and be patient in knowing that the journey is long and will not be accomplished in a day.
I have often wished I could sing with a great voice that would resonate in the grandest halls and every open space where listeners of truth would want to hear of the beauty and power of God’s redemptive hope and freedom. If I could have a voice like that, there is one song I would sing:
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast
As we journey on with Him, above all, dear friends, may we “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).