Spreading the Hope

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” -Romans 8: 18-21 (NIV)

Sometimes we may wonder why we are placed in this world. When we have allowed Christ to invade our hearts and work out His redemptive Google+Photopurposes in our lives, we may ask for what purpose does He keep us here on this Earth? Everywhere we turn, we are confronted by the fact that the world in which we live is one marked by suffering and torment. Often this fact overwhelms us and we ask God why we must endure the horrors of this world; yearning for the pleasures we are promised in Heaven. But if our acceptance and desire to follow Christ is motivated solely on the basis of gaining a one-way ticket to Paradise, then we have subscribed to a highly individualistic view of the Christian life that is not within the will of God.

There is a specific reason as to why we are placed in this world. God has called His children to be active participants in His restorative mission for humanity. Far from retreating from the world and waiting for the day we enter Heaven, we are to abide ourselves in His love. When we do this, we are enabled and empowered by His Spirit residing within us to draw others to the hope that is available through Christ as His love overflows from our lives. While we can look forward to the blessings of meeting with God in Heaven, we must keep our eyes on the task at hand; to bring others into the knowledge of Christ so that they too may partake of the blessings and joy which come from knowing Him intimately. Though the world may weigh us down Christ has overcome the world, and we can be assured that through all the trials we may face in this life, He will be the one to sustain us because He is Life.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

An Eternal Comfort!

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” -Isaiah 40:1 (NIV)

We live in a broken world filled with broken people. As much as we would like to ignore this fact, it is an ever present reality. No matter how Google+Photohard we may try to deny its existence, either within others or within ourselves, there will come a point when we will have to confront the misery and emptiness that is characteristic of life here on Earth. We all seek after something that will fill this emptiness in our hearts, heal this brokenness that we hide, and bring peace and joy to our troubled souls. But often times we do not know where to turn. In an attempt to find solace and comfort, we easily throw ourselves onto things that may promise healing only to find that they have swindled us by ultimately contributing to our misery, let alone seeking to bring restoration in our lives.

Outside of Christ there is no hope. If we seek to be comforted by running to the material things of this world, we will only find disappointment. Their temporary and tainted nature will fail to bring the relief we seek. It is only through Christ that we are assured of the hope which will never fail and a source of peace which will never run dry. When we have personally accepted Christ’s redemptive sacrifice for us and allowed Him to dwell and work within our hearts, we can take refuge in His perfect, never ending love, and find hope in His faithful provision in our lives. These wonderful blessings found in Christ are not meant to be kept to ourselves however. It is God’s will that all would be reconciled to Him and know of the beauty and wonder which comes from walking intimately with Him. In His restorative mission for His creation, our role as His children is to simply be vessels for His love to be poured out into the lives of others. Are there people in our lives who need to be comforted with the love of Christ? When we allow His love to overflow from within us, it will bring life to a lifeless world, hope to a world immersed in despair, and healing to those who need to be restored.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Don’t Give In!

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” -Proverbs 23:17-18 (NIV)

At times, the success of the wicked completely baffles us. We often see those steeped in sinful lifestyles live seemingly happy lives without Google+Photoexperiencing the consequences of their decadence. As we observe this and struggle in upholding Christ’s righteousness, we may wonder if the age old idea of good triumphing over evil is a lie. We may be tempted to ask ourselves if there is really any point or merit in living a life of holiness and integrity. Before we take that plunge into a lifestyle of wickedness however, we must consider a very important fact – sin is an excellent deceiver. With promises of hope, bliss, and fulfillment, it misleads us into thinking that we can have a wonderful life by living in whatever way we see fit. But like a disease which initially has no outward manifestation, it will slowly cause us to decay from the inside.

In sin there is no hope. Though all around us we may see the wicked prosper and live in contentment, such luxuries are fleeting. The only certainty of sin is that it leads to death and those who tread along that path will not only face the consequences of their wrong choices here on Earth but also in the hereafter if they choose to remain in their errant ways. However, through Christ we have a secure hope. When we have personally accepted His redemptive sacrifice on the cross for us and allowed Him to dwell within our hearts, He clothes us with His righteousness. This is a righteousness which will guarantee us a place in Heaven not through any effort of our own, but what Christ Himself has done for us. Yet this righteousness is not meant to be dormant, rather we must allow Christ to perfect this righteousness in us so that others will be drawn to Him. This process will often require us to make lonely stands for His holiness when the world around us rejects what Christ has to offer, and this can be very discouraging at times. But we must always remember and take assurance in the fact that in Christ we have a hope that will never be snatched away from us; a hope which sin can never offer, and promises joy, fulfillment, and life eternal.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.