Hope is something we receive
This past weekend Rob Ryerson, at Eastern Hills, said “Hope is not something we achieve it is something we receive.” I like that. I need that. I need to be reminded that Christ is ready to give me hope and that I can receive hope from him, rather than try and achieve it through my own devices.
As I write this, I have just finished reading the news for the morning, and I have no idea where this covid 19 pandemic is going. Some are saying that it will lead to a depression like era, some are predicting 4-6 months of a lock down, and some are proclaiming that the medical cure has already been discovered, and it will be evident at the end of this week! A found a lot of opinions, and multiple predictions, but very little real hope. Remember, hope is not something you can achieve!
So how do I “receive” it? Let me share two thoughts.
One, I remember and rejoice in the fact that God is able to bring good out of this. Romans 8:28 is still true… 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)
The good that God will bring is that he will make us more like Christ and help us to know him better, not that our circumstances will change. He will do this for those who “love him.” The challenge for me is this, “Am I willing to accept the current circumstances and rejoice in the fact that he will use this unwanted situation to achieve much wanted change in me?” When I do that I am “loving him”!!
“Jesus, thank you for using these circumstances to do the good you want to do in my life!!”
The second thing that I focus in on is that this world is temporary. It is not that this world is a fantasy or a hallucination. No, this world is very real. It is just that it is provisional. It is not an illusion, but it is an interim. Not a mirage… but momentary. Not a trick… but transitional!!
I love the words of 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18 (NIV) 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
The promise is clear. He will one day bring an end to this transitional reality and establish a new reality. This is what John describes as a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21:1) where we have real physical resurrected bodies, in a real physical recreated environment.
Paul conclude with 18Therefore encourage one another with these words. So I remind myself and encourage you that we can receive hope from Christ, by meditating on, trusting in, and proclaiming… that the new world is coming.
“Jesus, thank you for creating an incredible new world that will one day replace this one!!”
In this way we can receive hope!!