Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
When our youngest son was born he was very small: 3# 12 ½ oz. He had to be in the hospital for 14 days but soon was able to come home. He slept beside our bed in a makeshift crib that otherwise served as a dresser drawer! He was not able to hold himself up – like any other newborn. He would, however, hold my finger. It was a reflex, I know, but a good one. And it is a picture of what is meant in Hebrews to, “hold fast to the confession of our hope.”
We are very much like a little newborn baby. We have no strength in ourselves to hold onto faith, or hope. We cannot sustain love for God or our neighbor apart from God’s favor and blessing (cf. John 15:5). But although we cannot hold on to God – any more than a newborn baby can hold himself up or hold his own weight – God has us in his arms.
Jesus says of his people: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). Picture this: You are holding a baby in your arms. He is safe and secure in your care. You love him. You won’t let him fall. You offer your finger to him and he wraps his tiny fingers around your finger. Look at his tiny fingernails! Look at the wrinkles on his knuckles. Look into his eyes. He sees your love. You feel his grasp. This is the picture we are offered here.
The reason we are to hold on to the hope we have is therefore twofold. We hold onto this hope primarily because God’s steadfast love is totally reliable. God is faithful. He can be trusted. We also hold on to our hope because it is precious to us. What a hope we have!
I will conduct a funeral tomorrow for a dear friend. There will be moments, I’m sure, during the service in which I will choke up. It is a real loss for me, for his wife and family, and for many of his friends. But we grieve not without hope. I will hold to that hope because God is faithful. We delight to do so because God is faithful. We can rely on him. This hope, God’s love and salvation, and God himself are treasures worth holding to in every moment.