I like to think of hope as the active exercise of faith. It doesn’t mean never being in darkness or doubt. It means that in darkness or doubt we choose to look at the bigger picture, and based on the bigger picture, we decide to keep going forward.
As Solomon observed, that the “generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” C. S. Lewis said it differently, but no less truly, “Nothing that you have not given away will ever truly be your own.”
God’s instruction to us is this: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Without a reverent stillness at the center of our hearts, joy has no chance to break through the noise of earthly life. Of all the killjoys in the world, irreverent busyness is the worst.
Those who see nothing higher to enjoy than pleasure are missing out on real joy. We should set these words in stone: joy is the highest experience of the human heart. Pleasure, as good as it may be in its proper place, is a poor, unsatisfying substitute for joy.
Whether we’re “living in the past” or “daydreaming about the future” or we’re just too busy with trivia to savor the present moment, the end result is often the same: life gets away from us without our having thought about it as it went rushing by.
There is great comfort in knowing that God is above and beyond time, that time is within His control and subject to His sovereignty. Whatever problems the passage of time may present for us, nothing that has to do with time is a problem for God.
In the end, our confidence must be in God, and not in our own wisdom or ability. Having been as prudent as we know how to be and then acting as energetically as we can, we must trust that God will take our actions today and bring about a good return tomorrow.
Until the inheritance is actually ours, let us recognize the paucity of our present understanding and be prepared, when our Lord returns, to rejoice in whatever God has for us. The reality will break the boundaries of everything we have ever dreamed of!
We appreciate heaven only when we vividly contemplate it. Just as those who accomplish great worldly goals are those who keep their goals clearly in mind, those who aspire to heaven need to concentrate on it with a keen focus.
We need to understand that the object of the Christian’s hope is, as Paul says, our “adoption, the redemption of our body.” Christianity is first and foremost about eternity, and our hopes for this world ought to be minimal.