As the world turns and as time marches on, there is a collective feeling of unease growing on the earth. Angst (a gloomy feeling of anxiety or depression) has seeped into the collective pores of humanity. “We’ve seen it all, we’ve done it all, and we’ve imagined it all.” While some would like to believe in “world peace” hate and violence fills the streets. With such discord, even the faithful remnant of Jesus Christ perceives the intensity of the “cosmic battle” which seems poised to consume us all. BUT GOD! Amid this turmoil, which surely is part of the end times prophesied in the Bible so long ago, we must have Hope. But, how do we receive this hope? This Hope can be so tangible that we can know it, if we allow the Holy Spirit to stir it up within each one of us. The Hope we are speaking of is the Blessed Hope in Titus 2:13 (NIV) “while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Hope is an “expectation of good” that is given to us when we believe that God gave us His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. When we ask Jesus into our hearts, we receive the blessed hope of our eternal life. This “hope” will not fade away, but will endure and keep us to the end! (John 3:16; Romans 10:9,10,13)
1 Peter 1:3-5 (NKJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you
Perhaps one of the questions we ask is how can we have HOPE of a future event… the Hope of our inheritance in heaven? If our eternal life is only in the future, what about the pressures of today’s world? Can we be joyful and expectant of good things to happen in our lives now? Can we have daily patience to receive the promises of God while the world seems to be “heading down a slippery slope into a never ending black hole”? Can we “rejoice in hope? Be patient in tribulation? Continue steadfast in prayer?” (Romans 12:12)
Romans 8:24-25 (GNT) For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
We read in Colossians 1:27 that it is “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” This hope of being glorified like Jesus was in His resurrected body, is difficult to understand. Since we are the Body of Christ who will be resurrected at the “gathering together” (rapture / harpazo), how do we “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” of our lives? (Hebrews 3:6) How can we be encouraged?
The Word of God is clear about our hope and our rejoicing, not only at the end of our lives, but as we face each day…
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (AMPC) Now also we would not have you ignorant, brethren, about those who fall asleep [in death], that you may not grieve [for them] as the rest do who have no hope [beyond the grave]. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him through Jesus those who have fallen asleep [in death]. For this we declare to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede [into His presence] or have any advantage at all over those who have previously fallen asleep [in Him in death]. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.
WOW!! What a comfort to know that our loved ones who believed in Christ and have already died, will be with us at the “gathering together” of the Lord’s body. This HOPE in our bodily resurrection at the Lord’s coming for us in the clouds is an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” (Hebrews 6:19)
Let’s be clear: this HOPE is that Jesus Christ, Himself, will call us up to be with Him in the clouds someday soon. It is NOT when Jesus steps His foot down on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:1-4) which is called “the Day of the Lord.” That is another future event in scripture that has to do with the battle of the nations against Jerusalem.
If we believe God is faithful and His promises are true, then we can “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Our prayer for all of us is that we can remain HOPEFUL, and be encouraged in the finished work of Jesus Christ at the cross. We daily desire a greater revelation of what Jesus meant when He said, “It is finished.”
Romans 15:13 (AMP) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.
~ Joanne and Sarah
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