Hope

Hope. That is what we live for. Whether we serve Jesus or not, we all live for the hope of something better. I wonder though, if as followers of Christ, we sometimes forget what it is we are hoping for. It's oh so easy to hope for the immediate satisfaction of this world, but that is not the promise of Jesus. In Jesus, our hope is for eternity. In fact, he tells us specifically that following him means trial, persecution, all the things we honestly want to avoid, so we can't really put our hope in a promise of no suffering.

I think the early church got it. How else could they face such persecution with joy and gladness? I think there are places in the world today where people are doing just what the early church did. They are suffering for their faith and they do it gladly. In my little corner of the world, I don't really ever suffer for Christ. I don't have to fear for my life or hide my faith. I can stand on a corner and yell it out for all to hear if I choose. I have plenty, and my life is good.

My life is good.

I wonder then, if having the platform I have means I declare that hope as loud as I possibly can. I wonder if having much means giving much. Yes, I think it does. I think for those of us living with much, to live in light of eternity is to give much. Money, time, talent, whatever God is asking. We have it to give friends, and we can choose what hope we want to invest it in.

Shall we invest in the hope of earthly security, or shall we invest in the hope of forever?

Logic and reason tells me to be cautious, to invest carefully, to hold back if necessary. No. Logic and reason don't line up with faith and hope in Jesus. If I am serious about this hope of eternity then I need to live it through my actions. I need to give until it hurts, until I bleed. I need to go without question. I need to offer humbly whatever gift God has given.

Whomever has much, should give much.

I am learning a lot about just what it means to live in light of forever. I have a long way to go. I do know, though, that being comfortable in my life is not the answer. I do know that if I am going to back up what I say with action, then I am going to live outside of comfort, always. Eternity has not come to me yet. I see the light of it on the horizon, but for now, I have to just keep walking towards it, hoping for it. I hope for it by living for it. I hope for it by shedding my self made safety net and giving God permission to have everything in my life for his use. I live for it by pointing everyone around me towards it.

"Look! Just ahead! That's what I'm living for! Come with me! Live for it with me!"

We cannot hope in many things friends. We must decide just what we hope for and then live for it. The amazing thing about putting our hope in Jesus and forever is that it is certain. I can hope for something that is already done. I don't have to fear that my hope will fall away because what I hope for cannot be destroyed.
Hope for eternity, my friend. Whether you do or don't you will face it one day. Put your hope in what will last and forget what will not.

 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 
1 Corinthians 15:50-52


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