2019-09-18 Hope Worth Waiting For.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this
present time are not worth comparing with
the glory that is to be revealed in us.”
Romans 8:18

Paul continues to look ahead. Let’s face it, what we see on earth is troublesome. In fact, much of it is simply awful. As many of you know, the Minnesota Twins have a good season going this year. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few games. Just this week, there was a news story of a gang of young men, teens to early twenties, that isolate, brutally attack, and rob people in the area of the stadium. Nearly twenty of these have been arrested. One video showed a man getting mercilessly pounded by this group – right in the courtyard entrance of Target Field! Most of these attacks happen in the middle of the night, but they still happen. The one at Target Field was in broad daylight! According to CNN, robbery is up almost 54% in downtown Minneapolis from last year.

The whole of creation is experiencing this. This is sin, folks, running rampant. It may ebb and flow in areas over time, but I see no reason to believe that things will get better. No, things will get continually worse. Why? Because the whole world is decaying from sin. Think of it as a cancer that is spreading over the body. No, it’s worse than that.

Paul paints a picture in words for this, but he gives us reason to believe all this will change. In fact, the entirety of creation knows it will.

Romans 8:19-23 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for the adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Folks, this is hard stuff to wrap our heads around. If I’m reading this right, none of this mess will change until believers are united with our resurrection bodies. Yes, our spirits will be with Jesus when we die, but that won’t be the entire picture. It’s not until our new bodies are joined with our spirit that creation will be free.

Think about this. We can put our trust and hope in this president or that president, but nothing will really change. This world will continue to deteriorate until our bodies are resurrected. And, what’s more staggering to think about is that the entirety of creation knows it! Everything is looking forward to that day!

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Back to Romans:

Romans 8:24-25 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.

That’s the horizon we set our eyes on, watching for our Lord to return to bring us to a place that is our true home.

Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had gone out, they would have had the opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

Jesus doesn’t want us to get all mucked up in this world. He wants us to keep our eyes on him.

Luke 12:35-38 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants!

Is there reason for hope? I should say so! The message of encouragement is all over the bible, front to back, simply everywhere! Jesus is not only risen, but will most certainly return. When he does, that will be a day like none other. Barack Obama’s slogan was “Change we can believe in.” Donald Trump has MAGA. Christians would be wise to focus on Jesus’ hope and share the gospel with a sick and dying world in the hopes that some will repent before the Day of the Lord.

Father, our hope is secure. Thank you!

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

Photo by Armando Castillejos on Unsplash

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