Hope

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Are you " filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy"? If not, it may be that something is missing in your hope.

Stasi, my source of great worship music, just played a new song for me last night that captures something God put on our hearts in a big way these past few months. It’s called “Suddenly” (by Daniel Bashta) and the opening lines go like this:

We are longing for your coming

We are desperate for your presence

And the refrain goes,

Suddenly come, suddenly come, suddenly come just like you promised.

Back in November, we held a small retreat here in Colorado. As the event drew near, Jesus gave us a new topic, and in doing so we knew that he had something on his heart for us. Not just for us at the retreat, but for all of us who love him and call upon him.

The subject was hope – more specifically, hoping in the coming Kingdom of God. As I began to do some study I was pretty blown away by the assumptions the Scripture makes about our hope and Jesus’ return. For one thing, Paul says that our faith and our love spring from, or flow out of, or find their foundation in, our hope in the Kingdom of God: “because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints - the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven” (Col 1:4-5).

I thought, Well…maybe the reason my love and faith are kind of flagging is because my hope isn’t really that vibrant. I mean, how often do I even think about the coming Kingdom?

The Scripture also assumes that this hope is where our truest hopes are set, assumes that because of it we are “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8). Yikes. Ummm…that’s not exactly how I would describe myself most days - filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. Maybe I’ve missed something here.

And so the weekend turned out to be rich and powerful and more than we had planned. Hope began to return, rising up from the depths - in some ways an old hope restored, in other ways a brand new hope discovered. I’m embarrassed how caught up in this world I had become – preoccupied with many concerns, good concerns, some of them might even be called noble concerns, but they had crowded out the core of my faith, which is my hope in the return of Jesus and the beauty of the Kingdom he ushers in.

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