Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thankful Thursdays: HOPE Eternal

It’s Thursday and I’m thankful for HOPE but not the kind of fleeting hope of the heart for things we want to have or experience here on Earth…I am thankful for the eternal hope that only accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior can give you.

What brought this on, you may ask?

So glad you asked! The answer is reflection. I’ve been reflecting on words about life and death that I’ve heard over the years and I’ve been thinking about what to say in response that would help people understand why there is hope eternal available to us but we have accept Jesus into our lives to have it.

My reflections that led me to write this blog post today are several. I remembered that one day in my first career as an educator, there was a teacher who told his students something that I still recall today. A student complained to the teacher about something he did that the student thought was unjust. The student cried out, “But that’s not fair!” to which the much older teacher who had been seasoned by life responded, “Life’s not fair and then you die!”

I also recall that time in the teacher’s lounge at a school where I as a substitute teacher (I worked as a "sub" before studying to become a full-time teacher). We were on lunch break. The conversation amongst the teachers in the lounge was about how to live longer and one of the male teachers who walked in on the conversation told his colleagues with a side helping of cynicism, “Everybody dies!” Then he walked out.

Finally, I recall a conversation that I had as an adult with an older friend. She told me that she doesn’t believe in life after death. She believes that after you die, that’s it ... No resurrection by Jesus Christ, no hope of Heaven or fear of hell. So she makes the most of every day because she believes that life is precious.

Now, what is wrong with these scenarios and real-life views? To the people who believe these views nothing is wrong with it for them because everybody is entitled to believe what they want. However, as a person whose life has been not only saved but enriched by a relationship with Jesus Christ, I cannot imagine what it’s like to live with no hope eternal.

I cannot imagine that I’d never see my loved ones who have died again because of the theory that there’s no life after death. I cannot imagine going through all the trials and tribulations here on Earth then knowing that after I die there’s no hope of Jesus Christ returning to Earth to take His faithful followers home to Heaven where we will live with Him in healthy, immortal bodies forever. I cannot imagine that God will not do what He says He will do in His Word (The Holy Bible). I cannot imagine God not keeping His promises to give us eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16) because the Bible says that God does not lie
(Numbers 23:19) like we as mere mortals do sometimes.

Even before dying, I cannot imagine living without the hope in Jesus Christ that helps me survive and keeps me alive. He protects me from so much. He gives me hope in seasons of despair. He adds to my quality of life and helps me love others and treat others the way that I would want to be treated.

A verse that came to my mind when I was reflecting on all of this today is found in
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NIV) where followers of Jesus Christ are admonished to not grieve as those who “have no hope.” It addresses the grief process that we all experience when a loved one dies. Before closing, I’d like to share the entire passage with you:

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

In the midst of my reflections, God impressed me with a personal lesson. He showed me that when situations in my life or in the world around me become overwhelming and I feel like I’m sinking into despair, I should NOT feel hopeless. 

I realized that I have a choice: I can allow the issues of life to overwhelm me and feel hopeless OR I can choose to trust God who is Lord over ALL as I remember that no situation is ever hopeless because He is our Eternal Hope.

Please note: If any of you are dealing with chronic illness, depression, despair or any problem that makes you feel like you’re in the dark then do not only pray about, ask God to lead you to a medical professional who can help you. I’ve heard it said many times in real life and on social media that “It’s okay to talk to Jesus (Christ) and a therapist!” Don’t think that you have to handle the storms of life alone. You don’t! You have God and you can be under the care of people who God’s gifted on this Earth to be professional doctors, counselors, therapists, nutritionists, personal trainers…all to help you in every area of life!

In closing, I’d like to share this beautiful song by Terrian. It’s called “God with Us.” 

I hope that her kind, soothing voice will bless your heart and that the message in this song will help you get a glimpse of hope eternal!


Alexis A. Goring
Founder of "God is Love" blog

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