Hope is my word for the year.
I’d almost forgotten all about it, but since September felt like a new beginning, hopeful thoughts were replenished.
I read about living hope:
‘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’
(1 Peter 1:3 ESV)
‘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.’
(1 Peter 1:4&5 MSG)
We have everything to live for:
‘Jesus said, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
(John 10:10 MSG)
Through Jesus we have new life that never ends:
‘And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’
(John 17:3 ESV)
And here & now we’re trusting & believing the promise that Jesus will return. Now we’re ‘waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
(Titus 2:13 ESV)
We have hope of eternal glory.
But not yet.
Just now, we may face
But, ‘What is happening in your life just now is not going to last forever’ (Billy Graham)
‘In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.’
(1 Peter 1:6 NIV)
For a little while, we live in the space between the promise & its fulfillment.
For a little while, we live on planet earth:
‘What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’
(James 4:14 NIV)
Just now, we wait for our living hope.
For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;”
(Hebrews 10:37 ESV)
C.S. Lewis wrote of Aslan’s return in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:
‘Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.’
‘Is everything sad going to come untrue?’ Sam asked in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
In a little while.
Not just now.
Not quite yet.
Just now, we’re in Narnia where it’s always winter & never Christmas. We long for Spring.
How long is this little while? It’s God’s perfect time & He works outside our time in eternity.
A little while is just a moment for the Ageless One to whom a thousand years are like a day.
It’ll be just the right time
‘You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.’
(Romans 5:6 NIV)
At Christmas, we celebrate ‘when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son’
(Galatians 4:4 NIV)
And in a little while, at just the right time, God the Son will return & truly be Immanuel (God with us)
‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
(Revelation 21:3 ESV)
Now we hold onto:
All things will be made new.
Faith will turn to sight.
Hope will be fulfilled
Love will remain.
For God is love.
And God is forever.
God’s love flows from eternity past, grounded in grace.
This love makes the little while a little longer:
‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’
(2 Peter 3:9 NIV)
Till then, between here & now & not yet, dare to hope, for:
‘The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.’
(Lamentations 3:21-23 NLT)
For these inbetween days, Jesus said:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 NIV)
‘Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God’
(J Oswald Sanders)
Between now & not yet,
For time & eternity
He will be our God forever
For He was before the beginning & after the ending.
And He promises:
‘Strength for today
And bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine,
With ten thousand beside
So, trust for a little while longer.
If you’re journeying through
Green pastures or dark valleys,
Still waters or stormy seas,
Hold onto Hope, for a little while longer
‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.’
(I Peter 5:10 NIV)
PS I’ve read the last page of The Book & it’s going to be ok:
‘He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.’
(Revelation 22:20-21 NIV)
Grace all the way from here to eternity.
Grace to carry us all the way from Just Now to Not Yet.