This is a 2nd blog on Hope. In the previous blog, I explored the two kinds of hope, Living and Eternal. I wrote about the longing for heaven and the truth that for every believer, Jesus is our HOPE.
So with this longing, we as humans seem wired for more. We can chase a person, an experience, a goal, but we will never find eternal or living hope.
Our souls long for a more beautiful, fulfilling, timeless place. We keep looking for heaven on earth. It is not here.
Every disaster, tragic event, scary medical report, broken vow, abandoned child, aging parent, even our physical limitations scream to us to put our hope in God, our eternal, and living God.
We are His children, not belonging to this world. Our hope is realized in Him every day. If you’re struggling to live in hope available to you in Jesus, these steps may help you.
1. Acknowledge Your Need for God’s Help
Our most significant problems generally involve other people. We need to surrender our sinful desires and acknowledge God is in control. We repent of our desire to control and we give that person or situation to God. He can then provide solutions, and walk with us through the troubled waters.
2. Read your Bible
Romans 15:4 states: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide, we might have hope.”
Believers have the holy Word of God to study, ponder, and digest. You likely have several copies near to you right now. The Bible is the manual for the Christian. I have found the spiritual disciplines that relate to God’s holy word do provide that encouragement that Romans 15:4 states. A treasure chest of divine options awaits those who go deep.
3. Believe you are not alone
I Peter 5:9 states: “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters worldwide are going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
It seems expected that believers will have hardship. We have an enemy. The fact that our fellow Christians are experiencing much of the same wherever they are is comforting. This is an opportunity to pray for those who may be going through what you are.
Serve others – The enemy of our souls loves us to feel alone, isolated. He is very patient and looks for these kinds of opportunities to discourage. Don’t let him have them. When alone, spend time with the Lord. Go to church, serve in some way at your church, or through your church. Please get to know your neighbor and help them.
4. Believe you have a future glory
2 Corinthians 4:17 states: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Our suffering is not in vain. Here’s why. There’s nothing like pain to get our attention. In my blog, more phrases that have changed my life is this quote, “Well, God’s got their attention now.” We grow in times of pain, and our character is being made more like Jesus.
We also learn how to help others. When something similar happens to another person, we understand better how to assist them. The last reason our suffering is not in vain is that
5. God will be sure we gain on the other side of eternity.
This world is not our home. We are strangers. We must live here and show the world our love for Jesus by how we choose to live our lives. This is a temporary assignment. Our problems are temporary, and yet, sometimes, we act like they are here to stay. We let them define us, and live like we have no hope. This is a lie.
For those in Christ, eternal and living hope is ours now and in the not yet.
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. I Peter 1:3-5 (MSG)
Dear Eternal and Loving God, thank you for the hope you give to all who know you through your Son, Jesus. Help us not to chase temperal things. We have so much in Christ! Help us to follow you so we can experience this hope every day of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, amen.