In the last year, I have seen up close some folks who have lost it all. First, one of the men with whom I work had his house burn to the ground while he was at work. He and his family lost almost everything they owned. Just yesterday, my sister and her son, daughter-in-law, kids and a friend were traveling in their motor home. The engine caught fire; they got it off the road and within 5 minutes it was burned to the frame. They had packed for a long trip and in five minutes lost everything. In both cases, no one was hurt; so what was really lost? Things!

I'm not going to try and tell you that things are not important; we have trouble making it through life without some "things." I admit it, I have "my things" and I like them; they bring me comfort and sometimes pleasure and I really don't want to do without them if I don't have to. As hard as it is to lose our things, we all know that things can be replaced.

Now, some of you have experienced much greater losses, because you have lost husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers or perhaps your best friend. You have lost people who were part of your life, or perhaps in a more personal way, you have lost some of yourself. Maybe you've lost a finger, a hand, a foot, your vision or your hearing, or perhaps you have lost an even more important thing: perhaps you have lost your hope, maybe even your faith.

I ran across a very short, but very profound proverb — supposedly of Bulgarian origin — that brings it all into focus: "God promises a safe landing, but not a calm passage." I remember the old hymn that has these words:

My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus' Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Paul gives sound words of wisdom for Timothy to share with other Christians. Notice what he has to say, because his advice is still very appropriate:

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV)

Where is your hope?
Let me ask you two very short, but very important questions:

What have you lost?

Where is your hope?

As for me, I've lost a few things and a few special people in my life. However, "My hope is built on nothing less, Than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly trust in Jesus' Name!" for I know that God promises us a safe landing, if not a calm passage through this life.