In a life that forces us to choose between going forward or receding backward, the Gospel way presents the only viable answer for growth against the threat of recession. Even upon recognition that life is a constant struggle there’s the cosmic, eternal hope:
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.”
~Romans 8:18 (NRSV)
The Hope Of God
Everyone open to the idea of God, that a Supreme Being exists who created the world and all that’s in it, can—whilst they may struggle with the idea of God being present here on earth—hold to a reasonable hope for God in the next life; to the experience of God’s Presence in heaven.
The experience of God’s Presence here on earth, whilst we hold it as a biblical truth, is not a given for everyone. Not everyone is so blessed to feel God in their midst. And there are those, also, that find the felt Presence of God too fleeting to be assured.
Add to this, the people—and this affects all of us to a greater or lesser extent—that experience great suffering every day or most days of their lives. What have they hope for? Yes, this Gospel provides the hope they need to live. It helps.
The hope of God is an end-time reality and that, as an actual event, is approaching fast. Whether by Parousia (the coming, again, of Jesus) or by our bodily deaths, which is a cataclysmic certainty, we will see God—all of us. That experience could not compare with our wildest imaginative design. Truly, nothing we’ve experienced in this life could prepare us for the unmerited, symphonic awe we will bathe in at that time. It will be totally ‘other’ than any of our human experience.
Though “it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3)
Hope For Now
In the strangest of ways we draw meaning and hope for life from the acknowledged reality that our lives precede something magnificent; something altogether too wonderful to comprehend. That irrepressible hope, the certainty of such an event and eternal destination, beyond fleeting fears for judgment that are reassured by knowledge of the grace of God, is the thought we may invest in any time, anywhere.
Beyond the uncertain hopes that lie in our earthly lives sits a permanent hope; one that will not wash away or be torn from us. A hope that seems so far off, but can verily be moments away, fuels so much transcendently immediate hope.
In the simplest of terms, the hope of future glory makes everything we endure here abundantly worth it.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.