Hope · theology

When the deluge of life comes crashing in…

Recently things in my personal life have been a mixture of wonderful and, at least inwardly, tumultuous. As far as work, studying, finances, and spiritual growth goes, it has been such a blessing. I’m seeing the Lord’s hand in everything. Nigh a moment goes by where I am not praising God for the blessings that he bestows upon my life. I find everyday I get up for work I’m excited to be under the realization that my enjoyment of my employment comes from the love of doing it for the Glory of Christ. That realization brings me to strive at doing better and furthering my effectiveness in the company I work for.

I am also amped to read. I’ve got too many books on the docket and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. But, there are worse things to be overwhelming one’s time, so no complaints there. With the recent church campout and all of the encouraging conversations and stories I had during the event, I’m more and more seeing my sanctification progressing. And the visible manifestation of sanctification is always encouraging. Added to that, my pastor and I have been getting together for coffee more often–something we used to do every Monday before I got a job–and that is always special. Those moments and conversations challenge me to think of my own spiritual walk with Christ and the implications of living for his Glory and not my own. It’s an edifying time for the both of us no question.

But the crux of this blog post is not about me. I open with this rehash of recent endeavors in my life so as to contrast with what’s going on in the broader scope of things. I’m not talking about the recent shootings in Orlando, Minnesota, Baton Rouge, the Middle East, or even Dallas. These events, to be sure, are heartbreaking. They speak to so many failures in our society, not the least of which is a rejection of the former prevailing worldview–the relationship between Creator and creation…

I’m speaking of something much more personal…

In recent weeks my family has gone through a brutal experience. My cousin, whom I have not been shy in expressing my extreme devotion to, is most likely headed to prison for a long time. She made a terrible choice and drove while inebriated (something I have been a strong advocate against). In the outcome of this decision she hit someone with her vehicle. The person she hit died as a result. She, our family, and the victim’s family have certainly been struggling to grasp the severity of the situation for the better part of two weeks now.

I’ve been in constant prayer for the man’s family, my own family, and more specifically for my cousin. It takes everything I have not to respond to the comments on news articles relating to the “driver who killed Cohen.” The vitriolic words being expressed and the assumptions made regarding her motives or what type of person, “would do such a thing,” have brought me to tears more than once. I know my cousin pretty well and this sort of thing is outside her prevailing character. So, with my personal bias at the forefront of my mind, I have restrained from commenting directly at those individuals and am leaving “room for God” to perform his purposes.
I’ve also been hesitant at simply writing about it in this blog, a public forum of sorts. Seeing as I don’t want unwarranted attention being brought upon her or the families in question, it is something that I have been struggling with inside and need to get my thoughts out. So on with it…

With all of the blessings God has been granting me with over the last few months, this one event has definitely put them in contrast and has brought me to be trusting his Grace and provision even more. My thoughts rarely spend more than 20 minutes without thinking of what my beloved cousin is going through. I am in constant prayer for her, that God come to her in this time, that his Spirit comfort her, that she come to a saving faith in Christ.  One blessing that has come out of this is one of the first things she requested, a Bible be delivered to her. A wonderful thing no doubt, but I also heard she is having a hard time finding hope in this situation, even though she is reading said Bible.

That brings me to the very title of this blog, “A layman’s look at this fading world, amidst a certain hope…” And that’s just it, I have hope. In every situation within the world I live in, I have hope. This world, in it’s present state, is certainly fading away. From any demonstrable worldview–scientifically or theologically–it’s careening into a final conclusion.
The difference is what is the hope each person has regarding what the end will bring. With hope in a purely scientific worldview, the hope is bleak. You either are hoping for a technological achievement that will prolong the ultimate heat death of the universe (or ensure you will live long enough to see it), or that reincarnation is real (with absolutely no evidence) and everything is just a cycle and the universe, and all existence, is ultimately eternal.

With Jesus Christ as your hope, all of that is moot.

I am not looking for any scientific achievement. Those are surely a success, and should be sought after, but without God’s provision they are ultimately a failure and probably already achieved the status of idolatry.

I have a certain hope.

Because of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, his concurring of sin and death, I have confident assurance that my hope is fixed and guaranteed. In anything I do, so long as it is following the commands of Christ brought about by the Spirit bringing glory to God in Christ, all I do is bring Glory to him. In this I have hope nothing I do is in vain. For as the Scripture says, “his word will not return to him void.” I pray not only my cousin finds this kind of hope, but that anyone within comprehension of these words will as well. I can only do so much to bring this about, I rely on the Spirit of God to do the work, I am just a pot in the Potter’s hands.

In the end I know all of this will bring God glory, I don’t know with any specificity, but with my relying upon him for strength, instead of myself, it is doing just that now. I pray my cousin, and all others involved, will go there for hope as well.

To God alone be glory, Amen.

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