The Hope There is in Jesus

We live within a world where nothing is certain. How many people planned and paid to go on holiday and then COVID hit? So many couples needed to postpone their weddings because of Lock Down. Municipal elections are coming soon … how many people will be disappointed because the expected candidate does not get the vote? How many people have prepared well for their learner’s or driver’s license only to fail? Two weeks before they closed, my cleaners told me they were closing … after 32 years. Think of the brevity of life … here today and gone tomorrow. No one has the assurance that they will be alive tomorrow. We plan for many years ahead, yet we don’t have any assurance that we will be alive tomorrow. In our world nothing, absolutely nothing is certain … yet there is a promise in this world for the world to come that is sure … certain … unchangeable … guaranteed … and that is Jesus and what he offers His chosen people for eternity. You might be going through a difficult period right now. Everything seems dark and dismal around you. There is no light in the tunnel. Emotionally, physically and financially things seem to be falling apart and you need encouragement, you need help, you need to be lifted out of the pit of despair … and there is encouragement for the child of God and there is motivation for the person who will turn to Jesus Christ in all seriousness for salvation. For me one of the most profound parts of the Bible is Romans 8:28-39. I would like to work through these verses to help you and me see the hope there is in Jesus. All might fail around us. Times might be as though we are in the melting pot where the furnace smelts the metal to red hot liquid. It’s so easy to give in, give up and lose heart … yet:

2Co 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.

For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. The writer to the Hebrews says:

Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Paul writes to the Church at Colossae saying:

Col 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

1) Salvation is key. In the above passages we are called to look to Jesus and glory and not at that which surrounds us on this earth …in our life at this moment. Look at your problem and you will sink. Look at Jesus, who is greater than your problem and you will rise!

2) Everything has a purpose. Often we look passed what is happening in the world, our country, the economy, politics, COVID, etc. The smallest issue … be it a cold, R10 to pay day … going through to the family’s relational dysfunction, growing debts … to the joys, happiness and blessings so easily overlooked or taken for granted. Everything has a purpose!

Ro 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Never forget that all Scripture is God breathed, inspired, inerrant and authoritative.

(a) We know that in all things God works. The intentional Christian has knowledge and understanding that God uses everything in our lives, family, circumstances, career, country and world for a purpose. There is nothing, from misplacing the car’s keys, breaking a leg, all the joys, all the sadness, all the pain and suffering to the political arena, conflicts and cooperation between countries, the COVID virus, etc., etc. that God does not use. Coming closer home this will include sleeping well or not at all; the car running smoothly, the puncture or flat battery; having sufficient finances or having none; enjoying good health or suffering with illness, disease or COVID; struggling with relational failure in the family, marriage or enjoy the bliss of a wonderful union.

(b) We know that in all things God works for the good. Whatever has been mentioned above or left out is used by God for good. This might sound difficult to swallow … yet everything that influences or effects our life, family, country and world is for good.

(c) We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Right here is the key to understand the verse better. Whatever happens is for the good of the people who love God through Jesus Christ! You might not feel this but you need to believe it because this is God’s promise to you.

(d) We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Now we have a far better grasp of things because God called us into His salvation … that is His purpose for us. Let’s develop that point …

2) The purpose of salvation. Get this and you will not only have complete assurance of salvation you will be motivated towards holiness making.

Ro 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Feast on these verses but see the ultimate purpose of salvation … to be restored to the to the image and likeness of the first man (Adam – Genesis 1) before the fall … that is, to be the perfect human being … conformed to the likeness of his Son … the Lord Jesus Christ. We will pursue the following verses, but for today, consider this … although the going is often hard emotionally, financially, relationally and even spiritually … look at the end product of salvation … to be like Jesus. That is what you are saved for!

Our Father, thank You for salvation. Amen.

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