« Day 11  |  Day 13 »

Day 12

Hope in God, Not in Myths

by René Schlaepfer

Read 1 Timothy 4:7-10

We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. [1 Timothy 4:10b]

Is hope just another word for gullibility?

In today’s passage, Paul emphatically says,“No.” He tells us to have “nothing to do” with myths and tall tales. Apparently Christians were already turning to false sources of hope in the early church. Historians tell us about first-century Christian sects that taught of “mysteries” initiates could use to prophesy the future and control the spirits.

It happens to this day; in the name of faith, snake oil is still peddled. From the excesses of the prosperity movement (“Just believe in faith, and that new Mercedes is yours!”) to new revelations about the end times (“Jesus is coming back in 2012!”) to odd personal prophecies (“God has a word for you: Plastics.”) to strange new diets (“Eat the raw Bible whole grain Garden of Eden program”) to rituals and trinkets (“Use this prayer cloth and whatever you ask will come true!”), many of these teachings are not found in Scripture yet promise guaranteed results. Paul had a word for them: Myths.

Last year a friend of mine asked if I’d heard about the California hitchhiker who told some people just the previous week that Jesus was coming soon, and then vanished! I said, yes, I had heard about it. Thirty years ago. Our faith has no place for such urban legends.

It’s sad that many Christians set all caution aside and believe everything they hear, especially if it comes from a teacher who has a magnetic personality or well-known ministry. They are destined for dashed hopes. Instead, train yourself to be disciplined in your beliefs. Set your hope fully on the living God, as revealed in the Bible.

The fads and trinkets of “voodoo Christianity” will come and go, but a simple hope in the One True God will endure. How do I tell the difference? I need to soak myself in Scripture, just as we’re doing in this study!

Question to Consider

Why do “myths” have such novelty and appeal for so many? Am I placing my hope in a fad, myth, or novel teaching, or solely in God and His Word?


Lord, help me see if I am placing my hope on a passing fad or even a myth. Let me set my hope fully on You.