By David Shibley
What are you facing this week?
Just today I’ve felt the heartache of friends’ marriages hanging by a thread, a partner’s business that must get a miracle – fast, and a beautiful young girl who loves Jesus and loves missions who has been diagnosed with cancer.
What about you? Are you facing personal, family, or financial trials this week that threaten to engulf you? There is HOPE!
Remember what else is going on this week.
This Friday Christians worldwide will honor Christ’s atoning death that tore open for us the way into God’s presence, His grace, and His family. As F. W. Krummacher wrote in The Suffering Savior, Christ “covers our guilt with His obedience, and our deficiencies with His fullness.” Then this Sunday we as believers will celebrate Christ’s mighty triumph over death. “Because I live,” Jesus said, “you will live also” (Jn. 14:19).
No matter how tough your circumstance your heart can pound with hope. I don’t mean flimsy, man-based optimism; I mean Bible-based, blood-bought hope. Many years ago Konrad Adenauer, who was then Chancellor of West Germany, came to Billy Graham with a serious question. “Do you really believe that Jesus rose from the dead?” the chancellor asked. “I believe it with all my heart,” the evangelist replied. “Good,” replied Mr. Adenauer. “Then there is hope for the world.”
Even with all the challenges in the world – from Cyprus to Syria and from the White House to your house – there is great hope for the world – and great hope for you – because Jesus died and rose again. The living Christ, who this very moment is interceding for you, is the cornerstone of your hope. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pe. 1:3-4, emphasis mine).
You have been born again to a living hope! I want to be very clear. Christ is our hope. His resurrection, His return, His rule; this is our hope. No Jesus – no hope. With Jesus – great hope. All our hope is wrapped up in Him. He is “the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope” (1 Tim. 1:1).
The Bible scholar, Kenneth Wuest, observed that this hope is “an energizing principle of divine life in the believer.” It is an attitude of expectancy – both of the future glories of heaven and present blessings because we are God’s children through faith in His Son.
Through Christ we have . . .
- Hope of a home in heaven. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
- Hope that He will come again. “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
- Hope that the scales of justice will finally and forever be balanced. God “has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
- Hope that we will be reunited with loved ones already with the Lord. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout . . . . And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall .always be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
- Hope for the unrivaled reign of Jesus Christ over all the earth. “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:13).
It’s all because of Jesus. “Christ is in you, the assurance of all the glorious things to come” (Colossians 1:27, J. B. Phillips Translation).
It is this Good News of hope through a crucified, risen Redeemer that He has commissioned us to take to all the world. And we’re doing just that, thanks to partners like you.
In this Holy Week, I’m asking you to honor our great Redeemer with a love gift of gratitude for so great a salvation. By giving to advance the Gospel you assault the devil and a world system that idolizes possessions. You break free from cynicism and the tyranny of the spirit of Mammon. You put Jesus and others before yourself. You do what God says to do and what He did Himself. “God so loved the world that He gave . . . .” (John 3:16).
As you prayerfully determine where you will sow your offering, please consider a gift to the ministry of Global Advance. Thank you – and God bless you and your loved ones throughout this week of remembrance and celebration.