The first mention of the word ‘hope’ in the Scriptures occurs in the book of Ruth. After that, it is mentioned many times in the book of Job and as you probably already know, and in case you don’t, Job is an account of a man who has lost everything he once had that was of value to him. He experienced great loss and struggled to hold on to hope in his future. He lost his family, his home, his livelihood and today, we see and hear of a lot of these same things happening to those around us whether it be happening to us, or we hear about it through friends and family or in the news. Many are struggling and so desperately need hope. These are terrible times for many but things are also byproducts of the Great Tribulation - a time in which our faith is tested and hope, for some, can become a glimmering thing of the past.
It seems an opportune time to discuss hope, with the New Year just a few days away, because each year we celebrate this time of year with great merriment and hope. It’s a new year and another chance to make things right, particularly if your current year or previous years have been less than good. We even make resolutions that are designed to structure the upcoming year and fill it with good things that will promote change in our lives and in these things we also have hope. But what most don’t realize is that we can celebrate a New Year any day of the year - for the time being anyway - if only we resolves ourselves to following in Christ’s footsteps and placing our faith, trust and hope in God.
When we ministers speak of the Great Tribulation, the Rapture and of Armageddon in an effort to warn people of what is happening and what lays just ahead so that they might prepare their hearts and have hope for the future, many people without belief, faith and hope refer to us as ‘doomsayers’ who predict misfortune or disaster or calamity at every opportunity. But where they are wrong about this is that a doomsayer does not share a message of hope, and we do. Because you see, what we know and see and wish to share with all of you is not the end - but a beginning.
Psalm 25:1 LORD, I turn my hope to You.
Psalm 31:24 Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD.
Psalm 33:22 May Your faithful love rest on us, LORD, for we put our hope in You.
Psalm 37:9 For evildoers will be destroyed, but those who put their hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
Psalm 39:7 "Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You.
Psalm 42:5 Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.
As you can see in the scriptures quoted above, the book of Psalms brings many messages of hope and these are just a handful of them! None of them describe putting hope in anyone but the One who can rescue - our heavenly Father Yahweh.
So yes, this world stinks right now. It is depressing, full of hatred, wars, violence and the love of many things that are not righteous or even important in the big scheme of things. But we have hope and we want to share that hope with you! Hope because while we are experiencing the Great Tribulation which leads to Armageddon and the pouring out of Father’s wrath, there will also be a Rapture of Yahweh’s faithful from the earth to safety for those who have accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior and also have a good heart condition. Hope because while this earth and everything on it will pass away, the earth itself will not - it will be transformed and made new new again. Hope because while there will be a time of great destruction it will lead to an eternity of peace.
1 Thessalonians 5:7-10 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But since we are of the day, we must be sober and put on the armor of faith and love on our chests and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us
While we all currently live in this world and are eye-witnesses to many terrible things, we must all also look beyond this world because this is what brings hope and happiness. We look beyond this world because we have been enlightened, we are of the day and the eyes of our hearts can see, and in seeing we have accepted Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the message as truth and because of this are being prepared for what lies ahead so that we might be strong, courageous and remain faithful in Father’s sight.
In having the hope of salvation from this old dying world we reach for Father’s light and hold on...with both hands. With both hands because we cannot cling to this world with one hand while reaching for Father with the other - we would risk be torn apart. But instead with full faith and hope we do not sit on the fence; instead we have chosen our side and set our sights on Yahweh and Her promise and we move forward with gusto and zeal. There’s no turning back, no looking back...just holding on with great hope, and great love for our Creator who will rescue Her faithful children from calamity.