Today’s Bible Journaling is from two Scriptures, I Timothy 4:10, “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” (NASB) and Galatians 5:5, “For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.” (NASB) Now you may look at these verses and ask, what do these two verses have in common? They seem to be talking about two different aspects of hope, but I believe we can see some commonalities in them.
The Apostle Paul wrote both I Timothy and Galatians, and both are talking about hope. On the surface that seems to be the only common issue. But I look at both Scriptures and think about the fact that our hope is in God, and it is through him we can gain righteousness. In I Timothy, Paul talks about fixing our hope on God. It is He on whom we can rely, He is the One who is the “author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2 KJV) The Apostle Paul is talking about discipline, that we must pursue godliness because as Paul says, it is “profitable for all things” and “holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (I Timothy 4:8 NASB) As we pursue that godly lifestyle, we look to God who gives us the ability to live that godly life, and He is the One on whom we can depend. Our hope is fixed on Him because what He promises, He will fulfill.
In Galatians, the Apostle Paul is talking about the freedom we have in Christ. We have that freedom as we walk in the Spirit. We are not under a yoke of slavery as we were before we surrendered our lives to Him. The Galatians were having problems with those in their congregation who were trying to force them to live under the law, following the Jewish custom of circumcision, rules regarding the eating of meat offered to idols, and such things. Paul reminds them that if they live under the law, they must be justified by the law, in essence, being judged by and in bondage to the law. But we have freedom “through the Spirit by faith” (Galatians 5:5 NASB) in Jesus. We are justified by the grace God offers us and not by the law. We have hope in righteousness (godly living) by being justified under the law of Grace. We see our faith being worked out through love, the love we have for God and one another, and His love for us.
As we fix our hope in God, we pursue godly living, and live a life full of peace, joy, and love, with the freedom to live in grace. Now, grace isn’t a “safety net” whereby we can “live like the devil” and expect no consequences. Just as a parent must discipline their children when they misbehave, so God must also administer discipline. It is through that discipline that we learn how to pursue godly living. As we become better at living that righteous life and being more disciplined, our hope, our faith is increased and strengthened.