“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Romans 8:18-21 (NASB)
What is the invisible quality that strengthens some to press on against all odds while others stumble and fall, exhausted and beaten? Where does that strength come from when every resource is gone?
We live in a world that is fallen (Genesis 3) and the effects of sin can be seen and felt everywhere. As Christians, we walk the road of this life, not as residents, but outsiders; not comfortable and satisfied, but on our way to our true home, our true satisfaction (Psalm 17:15). All around us the heartbreaking corruption and depravity can be felt as it weighs us down and presses in sticking to our feet like mud. Our walk can quickly turn into a tiring slog as we wade through the mess.
When we look around, what do we see? There are generations of people floundering in the pursuit of happiness, unaware that the things they are chasing are nothing more than a temporary anesthetic to dull the ache of hopelessness.
Ultimate, soul-satisfying, life-anchoring hope is what every person needs more than they need food, clothing, or health. It is invisible, unmeasurable. It gives endurance and purpose, joy in suffering, and contentment in little. True hope, unlike the temporary numbness the world offers, makes life worth living and, more importantly, worth living to the glory of God. He has given us everything we need to walk in full assurance (Hebrews 11:1) of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Our hope is not based on a Savior who died for our sins only, but on a Savior who was raised from the dead (Romans 1:4) after defeating death and Hell (Revelation 1:17-18) and is now ruling the universe from the right hand of the Father. He is the One on whom we base our faith and hope. This rock-solid foundation is only found through complete trust and reliance on the King of kings, the One Who Provides (Chronicles 29:10-17; Genesis 22:8).
Sharing the life-transforming hope God has given us should be the driving purpose behind everything we do. As we are navigating this life, we should look with compassion and understanding at the desperate behavior of those who have no hope. Their destructive, empty attempts to find meaning and happiness will continue in vain until someone (you and me) speaks the truth of the Gospel to them (Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 10:9-10) and by the grace of God, He transforms them. It is only by God’s grace that we as believers have hope of salvation, the hope of eternal life, and hope with purpose and meaning. We need to be the voice of hope in a hopeless world.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers,
about those who are asleep,
that you may not grieve as others do
who have no hope.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13