Our hope

Our hope

Yesterday, I was reminded about the enormity of God’s love for us….for me.

As we sang and cried out, “Holy, holy”, I marvelled at how such a holy God who dwells in unapproachable light and who clothes Himself with light loves us so much that He did all He could to make it possible for us to come close to Him. What indescribable love!

That wasn’t enough, apparently. The Holy Spirit wanted to make it really sink in so an old song by Amy Grant was sung – ‘In a little while’. The chorus goes thus:

In a little while, we’ll be with the Father
Can’t you see Him smile?
In a little while we’ll be home forever
In a while
We’re just here to learn to love Him
We’ll be home in just a little while

“Can’t you see Him smile?”….. The Father is delighted to have us come home to Him to be with Him for eternity. He made us to relate with us and we will have unbroken, perfect communion with Him when we have put off this mortal body and are completely transformed. The thought of His delight just broke my heart in a good way. I was overwhelmed by the reality of just how much He loves us.

I also connected deeply with the statement that “we’re just here to learn to love Him”. I’ve seen a quote that raises the question of how we would be able to spend eternity in Heaven with God if we don’t enjoy spending time with Him here and now. While we might make Heaven all about wealth (streets of gold, mansions, etc.) or freedom from pain, sorrow and stress, Heaven is really about being with our Lord – it’s about our marriage to the Groom….being with Christ.

For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity]. … But I am hard pressed between the two. My yearning desire is to depart (to be free of this world, to set forth) and be with Christ, for that is far, far better;
(Philippians 1:21, 22 AMPC)

If we look at it from this perspective, we can appreciate the thought that the few years we have on this terrestrial ball called Earth are an opportunity to learn to love God as He loves us. The more we walk with Him, the more He reveals the depth of His love to us but I don’t think we will get the full revelation until we are with Him face-to-face in Heaven.

As I listened to the song this morning over and over again, a couple of other things struck me, which I would like to share so let me start by sharing the verses and bridge of the song:

[Verse 1]
Got a ticket coming home; wish the officer had known what a day today has been
Then I stumbled through the door, dropping junk mail on the floor
When will this day end?
But then Your letter caught my eye, brought the hope in me to life
Cause You know me very well and I bet You wrote me just to tell me

[Verse 2]
Boy, that letter hit the spot, made me think of all I’ve got and all that waits for me
Guess I’ve known it all day long, wonder where my thoughts went wrong
When will my heart believe?
Waking half-way through the night, reaching toward the lamp for light
Picking up the Word I find here’s another letter to remind me

Days like these are just a test of our will. Will we walk or will we fall?
Well, I can almost see the top of the hill and I believe it’s worth it all!

This song really just reminds us that as followers of Christ, we have a singular hope that is not in this world – not in anything we can find on this Earth. In fact, Paul wrote,

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
(1 Corinthians 15:19).

Peter also emphasized the truth that this Earth is not our final destination but just somewhere we are passing through –

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.
(1 Peter 2:11 MSG)

If we would, like Amy Grant sang, go to the written Word of God to find out what God’s heart and perspective is on life, we would find the greatest encouragement for the tired pilgrim who is weary from swimming against the strong tide of the popular culture; battle weary from standing on God’s truth and living it out in a world that hates this Truth. We are encouraged because in God’s word, we are reminded of what our hope is – a specific hope that never disappoints or shames us (Romans 5:5).

Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.
Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
(Romans 5:2-5 AMPC)

We have a hope of “experiencing and enjoying the glory of God” and just so we know that is speaking of a future experience beyond this temporal world, Paul writes of it as the “joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation”. Salvation is in stages. We are saved initially when we believe in our heart and confess the Lord Jesus our Christ; we are saved continuously as we walk with God daily; we shall be saved finally from the influences and effects of the world when we transit to be with the Lord in Heaven. This last salvation is the true hope that the believer in Jesus Christ has – eternal salvation.

So I encourage all who have set their faces like flint determined to follow the Lord, Jesus Christ, completely sold out to Him – we have a hope, so bask in the love of the One who is eagerly awaiting our homecoming and give Him your all for the few years you have to serve Him and His agenda here on Earth.

You can listen to the song on YouTube using this link