I believe that American culture has become increasingly negative and fearful. Attempts to peer out into the future often result in prognostications of doom and gloom. And this blog is not meant to skip over the reality that bad things have happened and that bad things will happen. There is a type of sappy (nearly ignorant) optimism that I find unhelpful.
But there are substantial reasons that I have hope. And you may notice a trend in all of them.
1. God is Good
I do not mean by this to imply that He is good in only what I perceive to be blessings and good things that come from Him. I certainly see these things as a sign of his kindness and mercy, but I mean that He is actually always GOOD. In His intentions, plans, and in the working of those plans . . . He is bending the arc of history toward a complete justice and mercy. Not all will be on God’s side in the end . . . But all will be the recipient of what they desired most in life, whether that is godlessness or His presence for eternity. And in His glorious goodness, he made a way for us to be forgiven by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to cover our sins.
2. God is in Charge
I started with His goodness, because without that well-established truth, it would not be encouraging or hopeful in the least that He is in charge. But with his goodness in mind, His sovereignty becomes a cause for hope. The God who is good is also the God who is in charge. I am optimistic about my future, not on the basis of my hard work, or vaccines, or political aspirations . . . But my hope rests in the God who is good and is working things toward His glorious end.
3. God has Promised Success to His Church
In the passage I am preaching this week from Matthew 24 Jesus tells his disciples that this good news of the Kingdom of God will be proclaimed to all the nations before the end comes. He tells them this on the tail end of predictions of hardships and difficulties in verses 9-12 of that same chapter. But I find hope that I know that the gospel will spread until the end. My charge and my calling will succeed. I have the privilege of being connected to the winning side of history.
4. God Has Promised An Eternal Kingdom to My King
I have strong political opinions. But I have stronger conviction to follow my King. My hope has never been in America despite the fact that I consider myself a patriot. But my love for my country has never eclipsed my love for His Kingdom. I know fully that my only hope is wrapped up in the only leader who has ever died to win me back from the clutches of sin and death. There is a day coming when I will look in His eyes and attempt to offer him my thanks. And from that day forward, I will be fully caught up into his eternal kingdom forever and ever. No sickness, no suffering, no imprisonment, no death can take that hope away.
5. God Has Given Me a Mission
I woke up this morning around 5, hit snooze twice, and got up out of bed around 5:20. And the first thought that passed my mind was, I am alive and breathing, so God has something for me to accomplish today. Not every day starts with a lucid or valuable thought like that, but today did. But any time I pause to think about the day, the week, or month ahead, I consider that every single day I wake up breathing, it is only because God has a purpose for me in that day. He has called me to worship Him in the way I live, and to testify of the goodness of my King, Jesus. I find hope that any day given to me in the future…Is a day filled with significance and purpose because of my allegiance to this King.
There are plenty of reasons for the follower of Christ to have a positive outlook on the future. And that reason is not that things will go well for me. I have no promises of wealth, health, or prosperity. But I do have promises of God’s goodness, His sovereignty, the success of His church, a place in his eternal kingdom, and a mission to carry on until my final breath. Do you agree with this list? Anything to add? Do you have hope for the future?