The God of Hope

“Are we there yet?”
How many times have these words echoed through the car as the family treks toward the beach, amusement park or other anxiously anticipated destination?

How many times have we repeated the same words in our minds as we long to make up lost time; as we long to overcome a particular habit or sin; as we seek to reach a life goal?

Maybe you don’t care, at the moment, about “arriving,” you would simply like some relief.

Life is often difficult and sometimes hope is lost or postponed.

The world is experiencing continuous and very rapid change. As a result, our lives are in flux. Suffering surrounds us, a feeling of dread hangs in the air, many people are hurting. Politicians offer empty promises, leaders lack vision, frustration and fear mounts.

But there is a God and He offers us hope.

In his letter to the Church in Rome, Paul wrote,

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8.18-19)

Note the word “glory” that is mentioned so often in the Bible. Glory speaks of the attributes of God Himself. The glory of God is the embodiment of God’s true nature, His character. The glory of God is who He is – His unchanging essence.

As you begin to grasp the meaning of glory in verse 18, the next verse becomes even more astonishing. Verse 19 says that creation itself, not just friends, family or church people, but the entire creation longs for, is intently looking for and is earnestly expecting our revealing as sons of God!

All creation is waiting for that day when the sons of God will be revealed and presented AS the sons of God. The word “sons” here is not sexually exclusive but includes all people who have repented of their sin, trusted in Jesus as Savior and follow Him as their Lord. All creation waits in anxious anticipation for us, the heirs of God, men and women, sons and daughters, to have the lid taken off our hearts and minds, for us to be freed from fleshly, selfish, prideful, worldly pursuits and to allow the glory of God to actually be seen in our lives, our hopes and our choices.

C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

We are to shine as the sun. We are to be given the morning star. I think I begin to see what it means. In one way, of course, God has given us the morning star already. You can go and enjoy the gift on many fine mornings, if you get up early enough. “What more,” you may ask, “do we want?” Ah, but we want so much more. Something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though God knows even that is bounty enough — we want something else which can hardly be put into words — to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul. But it can’t. They tell us that beauty, born a murmuring sound, will pass into a human face. But it won’t — or not yet, at least … The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.

Our manifestation or revealing as the sons of God will not be fully complete until the Last Day when Jesus returns, but we live these few days of our lives seeking to allow the glory of God to be seen in us each day: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3.18)

Encourage one another in these trying last days. Say to one another, “Rise up, O men, women and children of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength to serve the King of kings.” (adapted from “Rise Up, O Men of God” by William P. Merrill)

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