Steve Maltz asks are we ready for eternity?
Hope is that future thing that we look forward to. It's that exciting possibility of something better, something to hang our dreams onto.
For a Christian it's not a possibility, but a certainty. The hope we have in God is a promise He gives us. The ultimate hope is given in the book of Revelation, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
For us to have this hope, we need faith. Faith is what turns possibilities into certainties, and sets us on the right path.
Without faith there are just a set of possibilities, but with no assurances. It's the faith we have in what Jesus Christ has done for us and what He offers us, that sets us apart. Those of us with this faith are automatically given hope for the future, because it's all part of the package.
A Christian is one who has this faith, though sadly not all Christians realise the hope that it gives us. Even Christians can go through a period of doubt.
If this is you, embrace the hope that you once had, because God never lies and there will be a day when God will wipe away every tear. If you are not a Christian, these promises can also be for you, not as possibilities, but as a certain hope. All you need is faith. Faith opens the door.
Are you willing to stand and knock at that door? He is there, standing behind the door, ready to let you in. Just one little knock.
Hope in action
When Jesus was still very young, His parents brought Him along to Jerusalem to dedicate Him to God. As they arrived at the Temple courts there was an old man waiting for them. This man, Simeon, had waited a long time for this meeting. Perhaps he had been visiting the Temple day after day in hope and expectation.
Can you imagine, after this long wait, his feelings when he realised that his hope had become a reality?
Indeed, it was all about hope and expectation. He was a devout man and God had told him that he was not to die until he had met the Messiah, the Christ. This was his hope and expectation. He knew with certainty that this day was to come and, when it had come, he was overjoyed, holding the baby Jesus in his arms and declaring sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
His hope was not just to meet the Messiah, but in being able to declare the significance of He that he held in his arms. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations.
He knew that this tiny child was to be the Saviour of mankind, even His name provided a clue. His name, to us, may be Jesus, but, in the language of the day, his actual name was Yeshua, which took the meaning of 'salvation'. So He was aptly named.
After a wait that must have seemed like an eternity, Simeon was privileged to meet his Saviour and was now ready to die.
Have you met your Saviour, before it is too late? Once we die, that will be it, no more chances!
Seize the moment - we really don't know what is round the corner!The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
View all articles by Steve Maltz