The Current Hope

There are many more than you realize wishing you well.

Well, not actually. See the thing is, that they need to see someone succeed while following the rules we've all been taught. Sure. They applaud the one who does it "his way" and succeeds. But we all know that if we all did it "our way" there would be total chaos. Our small corner of the world could not long stand all of us doing whatever it takes for our personal success with no regard for the impact on others. And while we are still tempted to grant ourselves an exception to established practices, our awareness that others face the same temptations we face make us value the rules--the procedures--the protocol--the accepted way of doing things. By keeping our actions within the established parameters we are all allowed to pursue our individual successes. And because we know the difficulty in resisting the temptations, we are encouraged to see one like us succeed without bowing to like temptations.

Of course we know Christ showed us the way.

He did all things well and never fell to sin. "But that was Jesus. He was the son of God. What would one expect with that lineage?" Although we are told that Christ was completely human and suffered all things we are ever to experience, we still see Him as a special case. (Even as I write I find myself constantly capitalizing the pronoun.)

What they are looking for is someone they know to be like them who actually lived the promise. Its not that they like you or really wish you well, personally. Its just that if it works for you, they've also got a chance. This thing, these procedures, this way of life they've been taught, might actually be real! "It actually works, if someone applies it." They would do it themselves if they could; and they have tried. But the temptations drive them to convenient loopholes. And they are never sure whether their modicum of success can ever be attributed to adherence to God's word.

If only it could? But deep within they know what they've done to carry God's load, never sure that He is there, always hoping He is, while also hoping His eyes are turned from what must be done to offer Him assistance in carrying out His grand scheme. After all, He does declare "I will cut off the strength of evil men, and increase the power of good men in their place;"{Psalm 75:10} and; "Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!" {Psalm 31:19}. With such a backdrop, we see our creative tax reporting as merely a vehicle for accomplishment of His purpose.

But over time, as we see others grab the gusto at our expense, we begin to realize the value of rules: to achieve this, we do that; to have this, we give that; to be this, we must be that. All in all, it works out for everyone because there is indeed a grand designer and He has mapped it all out. We can't be granted an exception without endangering the plan for others.

And that is why we cheer for your success. If you can do it, while holding to all that we believe really exists, it proves that despite the actions that pull our gaze away from God's word, His word is really true, something we too can live by. In reality no matter how often the Word is read or preached, we all need living examples. By the living examples, we have evidence that God is real because His word works.

And that is really the point. No matter how great a challenge you face today, you are someone's evidence that God lives. And the success you experience is the evidence we witness. There is so much more riding on your success than you realize; there is so much more reason for God to ensure that you receive all that is promised to those who truly follow His word. Our prayers for your success are as much for us as for you. (We need to see you succeed!). For many of us, you represent the hope that Christ lives today. Your failure won't change that. But your success is our encouragement to also continue.

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