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Hope and Life in Faith

September 12, 2012

I saw this picture recently, and I wanted to insert it into this posting because it reminds me that God is there, and that He is always there, always looking out for me, always comforting, giving me hope. It’s almost impossible to look at the splendor of a sunset and not feel God’s presence. And that feeling is one of joy, happiness, and most of all, hope. Hope is something I think we’ve all lost from time to time. Sometimes life can feel overwhelming, stressful. Sometimes we make bad choices, and sometimes those choices catch up to us and it can be difficult to face the consequences. Sometimes, the world itself seems overwhelming! When you turn on the news and all of it is bad; murders, thefts, rapists, child molesters, kidnappers, bank robberies, wars, politics, economy troubles, hurricanes, tornadoes, death, death, death, and more death. And, when we see, in the popular media, nothing but death, we start to lose hope! We start to think that there is no future, that soon it will all come to and end, and thanks to popular media, most people are afraid that the end will NOT be pleasant.

There are a veritable minefield of theories about how the world is going to end. In fact, here are 25 of them, listed nice and neatly, AND with scientific backing! I personally enjoy that slow boiling panic that’s starting to emerge thanks to the theory of the zombie apocalypse, and the unbelievable number of people that I think truly believe it will happen. It is pretty easy to lose hope when you think your future will be a fight for survival from a horde of rotting, rampaging corpses trying to eat your insides. Or that the world will collapse in on itself with massive earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and severe weather patterns in 2012. As Christians, however, we can take comfort in the fact that our lives are unending. That our faith in Jesus brings us eternal hope and optimism for the future. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jeremiah 29:11. The expected end is translated as “future and a hope“. This means that God promises us a hopeful future, an “expected end”. This is the future God wants for us!

And how do we get this eternal hope? Through faith! Just as our salvation is obtained through faith in Jesus alone, so too is our eternal hope and future! Paul tells us in Romans: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” – Romans 15:13. He was speaking here of unity in Christ, that God’s plan has always been to unite the Jew and the Gentile into one body, and the Holy Ghost is the means by which He will do so. God is working through us and the Holy Spirit to bring us together, to join us in harmony for our better future.

Paul explains further in Hebrews: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1. This verse is more of a description of what faith DOES rather than what it IS. The word substance is rather broad in usage, particularly in Greek translations, but in this context, it most likely refers to an “assurance”. The word evidence is used in the sense of proof that results in conviction. Future hope and present conviction of things unseen. We can be assured in the future hope of the resurrection, Christ’s return, and our glorification. Our convictions must hold based on unseen realities, such as the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice. Hope is our faith in the future, faith in God’s assurances. And we know that we can trust His assurances for “… I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” – Isaiah 49:16. Here, God was speaking to Israel as a whole, hence the term “walls” in the verse. But He was speaking to them of security, of the assurance of His covenant with Israel, that His new covenant with the Gentiles would not negate His promises to them. Again, He speaks of unity, of Jew and Gentile coming together as one. The futures of both are inseparably united to God, they have been “graven” or etched onto his palms. We who accept Christ, who put our faith in Him alone are assured this united, peaceful future. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” – John 5:24. Those without faith… are already dead! This is why it is so important for us to save as many souls as we can, to bring them to faith in Christ, to bring them from death into life!

So, if you are feeling the pangs of hopelessness right now, turn to Jesus, put your faith in Him. There is always eternal hope in the arms of Jesus! We may not be able to see the future as God can, but we can KNOW eternal peace and hopefulness through our faith in Jesus. Further hope can be found in the book of Revelation. This book tells us to persevere in the face of adversity, and to endure persecution because we are assured of Christ’s victory over Satan and the world. One of my favorite parts in Revelation is 19:11-21, which is the prophecy concerning the return of Jesus to the earth and his ultimate victory over the beast and the armies of the unbelievers. Verse 11, especially, tells us the true and ultimate form of Jesus with only a few words: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True…“. One of my favorite quotes from my favorite book in the Bible. Such vibrant descriptive terminology, beautiful use of symbolic meaning, and so broad in scope and confident in its message. And after His triumphant return, the coming of the new heaven and the new earth! “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4. For those of us with faith, we have nothing to fear, nothing to lose hope in. For those without, I spread this message to you as well. My goal with this blog was to reach as many people as I could. One of my hopes is to see everyone by Jesus’ side in the end times!

Blessings to you all!!

Published by Jay McAnally
Copyright © 2012
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