Monday, February 8, 2010

Beacon Touchpaper #19: "Hope Eternal"

"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain..." (Heb 6.19, ESV)

In December 1999, Britons voted John Lennon's 'Imagine' as the song of the millennium - perhaps it was meant as more of a spoken thought than a favourite song? "Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for and no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace." Did it reflect a hope that the 21st century might herald a new age?

A decade later and we have seen more wars, earthquakes, famines, floods, global terrorism of an unthinkable scale, and a very steady eroding of Christian values in the UK, let alone elsewhere. Back then, most people hadn't even heard of Al-Qaeda. A global economic meltdown was unthinkable. Here in Britain we now have the unhappiest children in the G20 (Unicef) and the most miserable adults in Europe (WHO). And only 6.3% of us go to church on a monthly basis.

People always "hope for the best", but "hope" and "hope" are two different things. On the one hand, you have: Hope: n. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best, while on the other hand you have: Hope: n. a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul. What makes the latter so defined? Jesus. What makes it so secure? Jesus. What makes it so unyielding? Jesus.

In Him we have an assurance that, despite the world we live in, we have an everlasting, irrevocable hope. Yes, there WILL be earthquakes and calamities (Matt 24.7), but Earth WILL be set free from decay (Rom 8.21) and God IS good and does good (Ps 119.68). A Biblical perspective is not naive (which is how the "Imagine" sentiment tends to prove itself); the Biblical perspective is the most honest, realistic, hope-inducing perspective you can ever "hope" to find. And you want to know why? Because it's God's perspective.

As we enter this new decade, let us as His children remember our hope eternal - Jesus and His victory - and press on into pursuing all He has prepared for us and the people around us. Let us not be dissuaded by statistics and news items, but encouraged to living out lives that demand a Gospel explanation. For Him, our hope eternal.

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