24 October 2011

Certain Hope

Dear Christian, where does your hope lie? Oh, you say it rests in Christ, in the Lord! You say it rests in His atoning sacrifice, in His perfect, complete, redemptive work upon that bloodied cross! But again I ask, where does your hope lie? If one were to observe your day, to hear each grumbling and gripe; to know the source of each snickering laugh; if one were to eavesdrop upon that conversation held over steaming coffee...would such an observer indeed discern that your hope dwells solely in the Lord?

Christian, you are blessed with great hope beyond any of the transient, temporal meanderings of this world. That hope is your secure salvation, your place in God’s redemptive plan. The hope of a believer lies in Jesus Christ, and in the future, final revelation of Him in glory. The hope of the believer rests in the promises of God: promises of a pure, imperishable inheritance; promises that you are sealed now with the Holy Spirit; the promise that you are even now the recipient of eternal life; and the great promise that you will be with Him for all of eternity.

Facing not just death, but the cup of His Father's wrath, the great comforting Shepherd told His disciples, "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:1-3)." Though spoken to the twelve, is this not also a promise for all Christians throughout the ages? Is this not a glorious certainty upon which believers may place not just wishful hope, but certain hope?

While we remain on Earth, we stumble through this life and our God graciously continues to sanctify us. Oh, but upon our glorification, we will be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ! Romans 8:29-30 declares, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” This, too, is the hope of the Christian! Heaven, eternal life with God, complete and final freedom from sin, finally seeing and worshipping the Savior forever  - this is the ultimate destination for all who repent and believe. It is difficult to fathom anything greater in which to place our hope!

Oh, dear one, where does your hope lie?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

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