Andy, one of the elders at our church, asked us when we realized the world was a bad place. I responded tongue-in-cheek something to the effect, “Every day I wake up.” I know you don’t need any proof, but I’ll offer some examples by way of illustration.
My mom had her badly infected big toe removed last week and is recovering at a rehab facility in Las Vegas.
My disabled niece had grand mal seizures last week on vacation in Virginia.
My brother-in-law was rear-ended two nights ago, and he and his friend are hurtin’ all over.
My daughter was to have her tonsils removed yesterday morning but was unable to do so because she is a host for strep.
My lawnmower threw a small stone into our glass deck door yesterday afternoon, shattering it (the kids think it looks cool).
If I think a bit more, my list could continue. I won’t. You have your own list, and I’d rather progress to an attempt to encourage you rather than discourage you! Thanks to Adam and Eve, the idyllic setting of the Garden of Eden has been replaced by a universe ravaged by sin. We studied that a bit this past Sunday as we surveyed Romans, chapter five. As a result of the first sin, all mankind would be born dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-3), separate from Christ…having no hope and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12). Creation itself groans (Rom. 8:22)!
Whoa–I thought I was supposed to be encouraging?! It’s coming; I can feel it…it’s a word…it’s a word I just saw…Yes, there it is! It’s the word hope. More accurately, it’s the verb hope.
The concept of hope precedes the discussion of imputation in Romans five (the imputation of Adam’s sin to all men and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to all believers). Hope is something that we do, naturally following the faith that we received from God and the grace in which we stand (5:1,2). In fact, we rejoice in a hope (5:2) that does not disappoint us (5:5) because God’s love has been poured into our hearts (5:5).
Let’s be honest–a lot of hopes do indeed disappoint us. The older we get the more we see that many of our dreams and hopes go unfulfilled. However, the hope we have in Christ is a sure hope, a confidence that God will be glorified (5:2), creation renewed (2 Pet. 3:7; Rev. 21:1) and believers transformed (Rom. 8:23). Don’t you think that should give us a bit more courage and joy on a day when “Murphy’s Law” seems a reality?!
Please–have a great day! I wish you the best. But–when the best doesn’t happen–hope. Hope in God through Christ. Even further–rejoice in hope! Sing! The best is yet to come!