Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finding Hope in Crisis: Eternal Promises

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

When I finally started studying God's Word, and the Holy Spirit began to lead me into a study of Bible prophecy, I started making discoveries about the future that ministered great hope to my spirit. I had just discovered God's marvelous promises for the future that are designed to give us hope in the present.


An Unjustified Fear

Many people are afraid of Bible prophecy. They say it is full of "doom and gloom." That is true for those who have rejected the Lord. But for those who know Him and love Him, there is only good news.

The Old Testament ends with an example of what I'm talking about. It says, "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze" (Malachi 4:1). That is bad news. But the very next verse contains incredibly good news for believers: "But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves released from the stall" (Malachi 4:2).

Bible prophecy is full of glorious promises that are designed to give God's people a strong sense of hope as they live as strangers and pilgrims in the midst of an increasingly evil, God-rejecting world. When you read these wonderful promises, you can understand why Paul wrote these words in 1 Corinthians 2:9: "No eye has seen, no ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him."


A God of Hope

As this verse indicates, we cannot even begin to imagine the marvelous blessings God has in store for the redeemed. But the very next verse says that the Holy Spirit has revealed those blessings to us in God's Word (1 Corinthians 2:10). The sad thing is that most Christians are ignorant of those promises and therefore have no idea what Paul meant when he wrote: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).

In Romans 15:13 Paul wrote: "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Our God is a God of Hope who desires to fill us with hope. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you are an heir to some incredible promises, and if you know those promises and believe in them, you can live in this evil world with hope, joy, and great expectations.

As the world we have built on the dollar collapses around us, let us keep an eternal perspective with our hope fixed firmly on the soon return of Jesus. Maranatha!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Reagan... I do look forward to the hope of heaven and the joys it holds. My mom is there and as she was dying she was taken up into heaven (that is all I can think to describe what happened) and she saw Jesus and then came back to us and told us that He said He was coming soon and to be ready. She said He told her she could not go until he called her name. She described green pastures and a crystal blue sea and hearing the singing and flowers with colors she could not describe. She lived another 2 weeks before Jesus took her home. Mom had not eaten or spoken to us for 2 weeks when that happened. But then she sat up told us the story, ate food, even got out of bed on her own a couple of times. It was amazing. I documented it all. Knowing that makes it so real to me. But the hardest part is knowing that I have loved ones that are STILL not ready. My husband, my son and others... That can just about rob your peace of mind. I feel like I am grieving over it at times. I know that Jesus is coming soon and I am watching and waiting. How do you get your brain wrapped around your loved ones might miss it?

Claudia in Salem

Ed said...

Claudia,
I don't think you ever do really "get your brain wrapped around" it ...or at least I haven't ...I have some loved ones I'll lose and it pains me ...but the best advice I can give is to constantly live in such a way that they want what you have ...and make it certain they know what it is you have ...and finally pray without ceasing ...pray for God's will in your life and that He will call your loved ones to Himself, using you as He sees fit ...that's a good start ...and I'll pray for your loved ones right now.

son of thunder said...

I have to admit, I'm not feeling a whole lot of hope right now. I know that heaven will be...well, heaven. But right now, this world is getting to me.

I'm wondering how I'm going to pay bills when the company I'm with is pushing everyone so hard to get all the work done quickly so they don't have to pay us for a full week, and working us too much to get unemployment. People I work with are losing homes and cars. One guy I work with has lost his home, then the motel-room he and his disabled wife were renting, and they are now living in a homeless shelter.

How do you share the blessed hope with people who are going through this for no reason other than the people at the top are more concerned with how they look on paper so they can get their bonuses? How do you show them God's love when you are wondering about it yourself? I know James 1:6 says a double-minded, doubting man is like a storm-tossed sea, but what do you do when it feels like heaven has turned to titanium?

Our problems at work are less about the economy than they are about stupid business practices caused by much alcohol and pills.

I read the hope verses, but they seem so empty to me right now; so platitudinal, phoney.

hartdawg said...

i know exactly what you mean. sometimes it seems jesus is gonna wait til all his children are starving the streets, all alone with everyone having left them, homeless, sick and persecuted til he finally returns. it seems like a distant hope but not a present hope. personally for me it starts with a basic understanding that God is good.people say that but prolly dont really believe it. besides that i myself dont know what to say

son of thunder said...

That's exactly it, hartdawg. I try to remember that God is good; I try to remember that He works all things for the good for those who love Him, but it sounds so much like a Hallmark card; it gets used so much it doesn't help, dig? I haven't left Him even though it feels like He's left me. I'm still holding on, but I'm getting tired.

I see these people suffering and it's killing me. I want to help, but I don't know how. I mean, how do you show a guy who's living in a shelter that God loves him? This man's been through a lot in his life -- you can just look and tell (he doesn't talk a lot). His is just one story among many of people I work with.

And it makes it worse when you wonder where God is yourself.

Nathan Jones said...

In times of suffering hope can seem miniscule or even hollow. But, that's why (only) believers in Christ have joy. Hope can be small, but by knowing Jesus joy always abounds.