Off and on over the last year, I have been writing about the Key Values of Covenant Grove. These values are different than our habits (which we have been emphasizing these last two years). Habits shape character, action, and thinking. Values are more about what is important; they help you know your heart is healthy and give guidance on “how” to live out the Vision of the church–which is to transform religious and irreligious people into Fully Devoted Followers of Christ, living lives of being loved and loving God (Discipleship), loving God’s family (Fellowship), and loving the lost and hurting world (Mission). Each of our Key Values can be grouped into the Roots of Discipleship, Fellowship, and Mission. The groupings are below, along with the links to posts on each of these values
This post wraps up my series on Key Values, talking about HOPE. This is how we like to say it:
We are anchored in hope. Through the sunshine and the storms, we live like we are loved by the Lord. Hope shines through in our actions and attitudes, and we face the future with faith.
The imagery of being anchored in hope comes from Hebrews 6:19, which talks about running to God as a refuge in the storms, being confident in His promises, and having full access to the Father. When the storms come, a ship without an anchor is in serious danger–the unpredictable winds and waves can throw the vessel into the rocks. The storms of life can “shipwreck” faith if we are not prepared for them. An anchor holds a ship safe in the storm; our anchor of hope is Jesus, and we cling tightly to Him when the storms of life come. Christ endured the storms, and He is stronger than anything this world can throw at us. So we live like we are loved by the Lord–whether we are living in the sunshine or the storms. Our God is the same Lord of love, even when we are suffering. God is always good, whether we are on the mountaintop or the dark valleys of life. So we can live like we are loved by God, even when we are hurting. We know God is always good, even though life is broken and full of hardships. Yet our Savior is stronger than evil, and we cling tightly to Him. We are always loved by the Lord, and we live like it. This changes how we complain and cry out, knowing that Jesus understands and is with us. Hope shines. People are drawn to genuine hope. God’s hope is not like the world’s hope. False hope is full of empty promises about the future being better, easier, or more comfortable. God’s hope has grit–He doesn’t promise it will be easier but that we will be stronger because He will be with us. We have a family of faith (the church) who support us, encourage us, and challenge us. We will face hardships, but we will never walk alone. This is real hope, and it draws people with its light. Our church lives out the hope of Jesus while inviting everyone to anchor their lives in Him.