A Present and Future Hope

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” -Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

Often times it seems that the world is devoid of hope. When injustice thrives, when decadence flourishes, when humanity never seems to learn Google+Photofrom the mistakes of the past, it appears that the world will be forever locked in a destructive cycle of wickedness. Sadly this is the truth. As long as humanity, in its fallen and depraved state, continues to bend to its sinful nature, we will continue to see corruption prosper and history repeat itself in all its gruesome violence. No humanly constructed ideology or philosophy, no matter how well intended, will ever be able to overcome this one essential reality. If man continues to ignore the fact that they are inherently corrupt and continues to persist in this state, their wickedness will overtake them.

But despite this there is hope! Not through any hope that the things of this world can offer, but by what Christ has done and is actively doing to redeem His creation from sin. Depravity was not part of God’s plan for His world and we were not designed to live under its yoke. Through His death and resurrection He offers to all who personally accept Him into their hearts the hope of breaking the cycle of wickedness in our lives. In Him there is newness of life, and if we allow Him to restore us, we can be assured of the fact that He will mold us according to His perfect righteousness. But His redemptive mission is not just for the individual, but for the entire world itself. His will is to bring restoration and healing to every area of His creation. Once He has begun a good work, He will see to its completion. In His omnipotence and wisdom nothing will be able to prevent the realization of His vision and we can take comfort in the hope that there will come a day when He will restore the world to its full glory in all its perfection and purity. With Christ there is victory and when we allow Him to work in our hearts and minds, our lives will bear witness to everyone around us of hope that as the Holy Spirit continues His perfect work, all will be made right.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Finding the Way

“All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.” -Proverbs 21:2 (NIV)

The human heart is corrupt. As long as sin continues to permeate our being, our wisdom and reason will be sabotaged by our wickedness. This Google+Photois why sin continues to make a mockery of any philosophy or ideology formulated and implemented through human wisdom alone. Although in our eyes we might seem to be doing what is right and true, our depravity blinds us from seeing the true scope of our actions. God takes our sinful nature into account and because He cannot tolerate sin on account of His holiness, any sort of self-proclaimed righteousness of our own is like filthy rags before Him. No amount of good or good intentions can justify what evils we commit, what principles we bend, in order to achieve our goals; even if the goal we aspire to fulfill is noble in and of itself.

However, God does not wish to leave us with a sinful heart. He sees the consequences of sin in our lives and grieves over the fact that it will consume and destroy our lives no matter how hard we try to overcome our wickedness on our own strength. In His love and grace He has provided us His Son so that through a personal belief in His death and resurrection our sinful nature is washed away and we can partake of a new life in Christ. When we allow Him to perfect His wisdom in us, we will be able to act in a manner that will fulfill His wonderful will in our lives. As long as we remain within His will and allow Him to enable us in His righteousness so that we may obey His perfect commandments, we will not be ensnared in the mire of sin in our pursuit of what is good and pure. Human wisdom and good intentions alone will never be able to bring us happiness or heal a hurting world. It may ironically serve to do the opposite. But if we allow our hearts and minds to be molded by Christ, we can trust in the hope that His wisdom will never fail us, and is there so that we can live abundantly in Him; at the same time being lights that will shine forth His truth and righteousness into a world engulfed by darkness.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Don’t Gloat!

“You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble.” -Obadiah 1:12 (NIV)

Human tendency is to gloat, especially if we feel someone has gotten what they deserve. When we see someone suffering the consequences ofGoogle+Photo their behavior, or when truth vindicates us in a dispute, our first reaction is to smirk and adopt an “I-told-you-so” attitude. However, where is the love and mercy of Christ, that we are called to display, in such a response? Our pride thirsts for moments to prove our superiority, to boost our confidence in our own so called righteousness and purity. But the very fact that we gloat over another’s misfortune is ample evidence to prove that we are just as wicked and cruel. By slandering those who have fallen, we breed hate, contempt, and malice in our hearts; things that should be absent from someone who claims to be a child of God.

All of humanity has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is for this reason that none can enter Heaven solely because of their righteous deeds. Our wicked and sinful nature corrupts any good work that we perform out of our own effort. Yet Christ did not come down to Earth to condemn the world in its sinful state, but that through Him we may be saved from destruction. The only basis upon which we can claim righteousness is that we are made pure and holy through Christ’s redemptive sacrifice and His indwelling in our hearts. Christ did not look upon our failings with scorn, but with mercy and love. He has forgiven our sins by His blood and promises eternal life through Him even though we were deserving of death because of our iniquities. Therefore we must not look down upon others for their shortcomings and for the injustices they have done. Instead of performing a victory dance celebrating our righteousness over the wickedness of others, we should look upon our fellow man with the mercy, grace, and love that Christ shows us. When we allow Christ to take control over our attitudes, words, and actions we will be able to see ourselves and others in light of the grace of God and actively seek to let others know of the hope of redemption that can be found in Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.