30th December 2010

Camp Hope Revisited

“And what is faith? Faith gives substance (assurance) to our hopes, and makes us certain of realities we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1 (NEB)

I will remember the faith and hope of the families of the 33 trapped miners in Chile for many years to come. They displayed those qualities quietly, unashamedly and with great dignity for the duration of that horrendous trial. The Apostle Peter talks about trials of faith in this way: “There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold…” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).

By faith we invite God’s Holy Spirit to live within us. It is not just an act of mind, but it taps us into the very resources of God so that we have the power to live in an entirely new way. If God is living within us, our lives will be dramatically changed. These amazing families in Chile have set us a very special example of faith, a faith that never wavered, a faith that never gave up, a faith that was indeed more precious than gold!

Hope also comes into the picture as we remember their smiling faces and their undying hope that their loved ones would once again be held in a strong embrace. Once again to be part of their lives when this storm was over. This hope was most certainly an anchor for their souls. In the ancient world the anchor was a symbol of hope; something that was sure and steadfast. Ships ride out storms at anchor—a vessel clings to this large piece of hooked metal that digs deeply into the seabed and keeps all on board from death upon the rocks. Pythagoras once said; “Wealth is a weak anchor; fame is still weaker. What then are the anchors which are strong? Wisdom, great-heartedness, courage—these are the anchors which no storm can shake.” And where do these qualities come from? From God through his Spirit. Read in Psalm 73:26 (NKJV), “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

We also saw those qualities reflected in the faces of the miner’s families during every nail-biting minute of their trial. I think it is good for us to bask once again in that contagious faith and hope and, ultimately, the tearful joy that burst forth like a huge waterfall that covered the whole world!

Our majestic Father, thank you once again for the miraculous deliverance of 33 men who stayed faithful and the families who rejoiced in your amazing grace as you brought those loved ones from darkness to light.

Study by Cliff Neill 

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