Christian hope reorients our focus. We focus not on who we were but who we are in Christ. We focus not on trying to merit God’s favor but rest in his grace, desiring to please him in love. We focus not on temporal circumstances or our momentary afflictions but on God’s glory revealed through us as we are conformed more and more to the image of his Son. We focus not on what the world loves but on God’s love poured into our hearts. And so, we do not fear tomorrow but have hope for today.
Jesus taught, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you” (Matt. 7:1-2). Neither you nor I are the judge before God but merely hypocrites when we play it. God is the Judge. He is the righteous standard. His law is the Law. Before God, we do not pronounce the guilty verdict but rather must plea, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”
It’s not a matter of self-improvement, but a supernatural work of God through his Spirit, shining his light upon our darkened hearts, and giving us both the will and the faith to believe. Although our biggest problem is the wrath of God, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). Therefore, even this day, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, not only from the wrath of God but from all the problems of worldly worship. And through faith in Christ, you will be enabled to truly worship the one, true God, as he has revealed himself in creation and his Word. You will be able, with all who believe, to worship the Lord in spirit and truth.
And while Herodias held what she perceived to be her trophy of triumph, the Word of God triumphs through the faithful preaching of the Word that by the work of the Holy Spirit the depraved mind be conquered and sanctified by the Word of truth.