the hope of the believerOur souls breathe better when the air contains the aroma of good news.

But we seldom have the opportunity to breathe such wonderful air. If we are honest, the air we breathe often contains no blessed smell. Our noses know only the stinks of rotting relationships, crummy bank accounts, and guilty consciences that drift up from the basements of our dark hearts.

Naturally, we want the smells gone and light the candles of social media, major news outlets, and human friendship. But as the sounds of the T.V. flood into our ears and the images on our phones capture our eyes, the foul smells of discouragement do not dissipate. They grow because the world is filled with broken people who disagree with our political, economic, and social choices.

John Kransinski of “The Office” fame has tried to counter all foulness of the world with his 15-20 news segments appropriately label “The Good New Network.” He fills the air with positive stories, impromptu weddings, and an overall fun helping of positive goodness. Though delightful, these moments fail to knock out the fouls smells that enrapture our hearts.

We need a stronger, longer lasting aroma. We need the good news of Jesus Christ.

The author of Psalm 107 directs us to that everlasting hope when he calls us to,

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good for his steadfast love endures forever!

And it is not just a hope we passively consume with our eyes and nose; it is a hope we joyfully proclaim to the world with our mouth. The redeemed are to join in on the good news network of Jesus Christ. They are to proclaim the goodness of God, highlighting the great value of public singing, praying, and proclamation. Though pastors should preach, the beauty of the church consists not of one person proclaiming the gospel but of the whole church proclaiming the gospel. Indeed, let the redeemed say so.

Why is the gospel so great?

Why does the aroma of Jesus have such staying power? The aroma of Jesus fills our souls with hope because it is a hope of personal salvation that addresses our sins and every human struggle. God does not save us and then leave us until we get to heaven Heaven. Jesus stays intimately involved in our earthly lives.The redeemed praise God because God has saved them from homelessness, oppression, sickness, and storms. To relight hope in our hearts, we do not need the social media plugins, we need the candle of gospel remembrance.

“He has redeemed them from trouble and gathered them in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.”

To remove the odors of uncertainty, fear, dread, and boredom that stink up our lives, we need to remember the saving power of God. We need to contemplate God’s wondrous works of redemption expressed through his divine justice.

Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord. 

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