Here are 5 things every believer should cling to in a world without hope.
The End of Pain
Who is there among us who has never experienced pain? Surely no one has not suffered at least some in this life, but why all of this suffering? Sometimes, suffering can bring us to faith in Christ, it can humble us, and it can help us sympathize with those who suffer, but we have God’s promise that the suffering the world endures will end someday (Rev 21:4). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). Put all of your suffering on one side of a scale, along with pain, sorrow, and even death, and then the coming kingdom on the other side of the scale and we can see eternity infinitely outweighs anything we go through today.
The End of Sin
I get so sick and tired of sin. And not only the sin that corrupts the world but the sins that I still commit. I am not yet without sin since I am still on this side of the kingdom, but someday we will be saved to sin no more. In fact, the desire to sin will be gone. Sin does not exist in the kingdom, so today, when you feel so sick and tired of sin, take heart, there is a time coming when the sin ends…forever, and for me, it can’t be soon enough. How about you? Is that one of the things you hold onto as a future hope in the coming kingdom? There’s an old hymn from over a hundred years ago that that had a line in it that sang, “We’ll be saved to sin no more.” That is something that I cannot wait for, although we must wait, but sin that started so long ago will find no place in the kingdom of heaven. For the here and now, there is no shortage of sin, but in the future, sin will be no more!
The End of Sorrow
When you are going through a time of sorrow, find a friend and share it with them, because a sorrow shared is cut in half, but a joy shared is doubled, so don’t suffer alone. We’re made for community, and when we are sorrowful, as Jesus was at times, we are in good company. Part of the sorrow I feel is for the lost who are swiftly speeding down the road of eternity and don’t know that the wrath of God awaits them at death, so that grieves me. If we see others who are not saved and have no sorrow for their souls, let God’s Spirit soften our hearts again so that our heart breaks for the same things that break God’s heart.
The End of Suffering
My wife loves to recue abandoned animals. She just can’t stand to see them suffer. My problem is that I can’t stand to see people suffer. This sin-stained world is suffering because of the consequences of sin, but sin will end someday, and so will the consequence of sin. Today, we must endure suffering, but it’s not all bad. The Apostle Paul desired to know Christ better (as we all should) and wrote that it was so “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Phil 3:10). Most of us would agree that we want to know Christ better, but to share in His sufferings? That doesn’t sound good, and yet, that’s our calling.
The End of Death
What is the last enemy in this world? Besides Satan and his demons, who will be taken away forever (Rev 20:10), I believe death is the last enemy, but the good news is, “Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him” (Rom 6:9), and Jesus “died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God” (Rom 6:10). As if taunting death, Paul asks, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting” (1st Cor 15:55)? It’s as if Paul is making fun of death, saying, “What’s wrong death, I thought you were so powerful? What happened? Where is your sting now?” I know; it’s as if Jesus took the stinger out of death, like that of a bee, and now the bee (as death), can no longer sting us, because as Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:15-26)? I hope you do believe that.
The verse I thought of when I wrote this devotional was, of course (if you haven’t guessed already) is Revelation 21:4 where the Apostle John wrote, that God “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Think about that for a moment and that should give you hope. We know that the mourning will finally end someday; crying will be a thing of the past; pain will be part of our past history; the former things (sin, pain, suffering, etc.) will have passed away by this time and greatest of all, death will be no more. It’s as if death is a person and death has been defeated by Jesus Christ Who conquered the grave, and now death’s final gasp is exhaled as the kingdom of God becomes reality on this earth. For me, and I’m sure for you, these things cannot end soon enough.