“REJOICE ALWAYS, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES; FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS FOR YOU.” 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16
Thank you for joining our team as we go into the final part of our four-week study in God's Word. It has been such a blessing to study alongside you and share God's glory with friends! In Part 3, we reflected on abiding in the Lord. When we remain steadfast in our walk in Christ, dependence on Him, and intentional acts of faith, we bring glory to Him in all seasons of life.
If you need to refresh your heart on abiding in the Lord, feel free to read Part 3:
In Part 4, we end our study on hope. There is no better way to finish this series than a message on the great things to come. As we reflect on what God calls us to do in all circumstances, we pray that you, too, find the love, hope, and encouragement that only Christ can provide.
In all Circumstances: Hope in Things to Come
What does hope mean?
"For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Romans 8:24-25
Hope is one of those words we use every single day. We hope for good things to happen in the future. In difficult times, hope may be the thing we are looking forward to. Or, maybe hope is the reason we believe our desires will be fulfilled. But apart from Jesus, our hope is filled with uncertainty.
As believers, our hope is certain because it's built on who God is: God never fails.
We can expect the Lord to do all the things He says because of who He is. Scripture shows us evidence of this and tells us that God's Word is truth. We believe with certainty that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again. We can have hope in our salvation through Him alone. As believers, "Hope in God," does not imply a 'maybe' or 'luck.' It means, "Expect great things," especially when it comes to life after death.
Hope in Eternity
"And I head 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. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Revelation 21:3-4
Beyond our earthly stay, we have an eternal home. This home is promised to us by the Lord through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Salvation is the 'one hope' for the righteous (Ephesians 4:4) that is kept in Heaven for us. When we are saved by faith, we can be certain that we will one day gather in Heaven. No matter our circumstances this truth will remain, and so should our hope for eternal life through Jesus Christ.
"But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (2 Peter 3:13) This is God's promise to those who love Him. This world is not all there is for sinners who place their faith in Him. Jesus rose from the grave. God conquered death. He did this because He loves us! There is so much more to hope for that we cannot yet imagine. How can we possibly imagine such perfection? Heaven is our final, perfect home where we dwell with the Lord. We will be free of the chains that hold us back on Earth. There is incomprehensible JOY to look forward to in Heaven.
Hope on Earth
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Hope is a major component of faith. It has to do with having faith in future things to come, including your future on Earth. We can never know what tomorrow brings. However, we do know that God has a plan for us. His will in our lives is something we can place our hope in as believers (Romans 8:28).
"For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:10
Even though Earth is not our eternal home, we can take comfort in knowing that there is hope for something so much better. Our current troubles, no matter how drastic or hopeless it may seem, cannot take that away. When we unexpectedly find ourselves facing unemployment, have hope in the great things God's promised after our toils. When we experience disease or illness, we can find hope in the assurance that our bodies will be made new in heaven, free of affliction. When we are tempted and give into our nature as born sinners over and over again, there is hope that Jesus has made us clean so that we may dwell with Him in Heaven, free from the chains of sin.
When we put our trust in the Lord, He delivers us and gives us hope in the great things to come.
"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
Above all things, place your hope in the Lord.
When we hope in things to come, we are not only placing an expectant, confident hope in God's will on Earth, we have an eternal hope for the great things the Lord has prepared for us in Heaven. We may not always be able to understand why we can have hope through affliction, and we may not be able to comprehend those amazing things waiting for us in Heaven, but we will. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." There is no uncertainty in this hope in Christ that will lead us through all circumstances.
How can I share this Living Hope with others?
Thank you for joining Antique Candle Co.® in this study of God's Word and His call for us to never stop seeking Him. Despite everything, Jesus is the one thing we can always hold on to. We would surely be lost without Jesus standing with us through all seasons of life.
THANK YOU for helping us praise Him!