Written by Allan Mitchell for The Life.
“ For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ…” Titus 2:11-13
Do you believe Jesus’ return is imminent? Every time I watch, listen to, or read secular news media, my heart grieves the moral, spiritual, social, and environmental depravation that permeates our world. Sensationalized graphic images and discouraging messages attempt to indoctrinate us with fear and hopelessness. However, as Christ-followers, we can recognize that these alarming accounts accurately affirm the writings, warnings, and visions of renowned ancient prophets. Rather than give in to fear, we can anticipate our blessed hope.
The word hope appears approximately seventy-seven times in the New Testament. Primarily, the writers use the word to emphasize God’s promises – salvation, redemption, eternal life. Amidst the apparent apocalyptic precursors of a world immersed in the “beginning of sorrows,” believers need not be intimidated or brought to despair. In Luke 21, Jesus reminds us not to be distracted or distressed by life’s anxieties, but to watch and pray for His appearing.
In a world that sorrowfully cries, “Where is the hope?” Paul also reminds us that, “[We] do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). For believers, hope remains ever present. Hope sits sovereignly on the throne of Heaven, and one day, in the not so distant future, we will rejoice at His glorious appearing. Until then, don’t waste your sorrows on sordid stories spun by secular media. Watch and pray, discern the signs and the times, and relentlessly look for the unswerving promise of the Faithful One – the appearance of our ever blessed hope.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our blessed hope amidst a world of chaos and confusion. Protect my heart and mind from the distress and distraction of life’s anxieties. Empower me with wisdom to discern daily – vigilantly watching and praying throughout my faith journey. Amen.
Write down ten reasons Jesus is your hope. Consider fasting or limiting your intake of media. Keep your mind set more firmly on Christ this week and beyond.