Hope in the Present & The Future
“Hope, for the Christian, is not wishful thinking or mere blind optimism. It is a mode of knowing, a mode within which new things are possible, options are not shut down, new creation can happen.” (pp. 72, Wright)
For the past six months, I have been delving into a book called “Surprised by Hope” by N.T. Wright. Let me just say up-front that this book has given me a fresh perspective on many things, especially on eternity and how we should be presently living.. I’ve always thought about eternity as simply being in Heaven. But I often forget about how Jesus will be coming back to make all. things. new. Meaning not only will there be a new Heaven and a new Earth (Rev. 21:1), but we will also be made new. Transformed. Just like He was after His resurrection. Wait what? So we have this hope, as followers of Jesus, of a new life. It’s not simply about dying and going to Heaven. Jesus has yet to appear for the 2nd and final time but those who are around when He returns will be instantly transformed. (1 Cor. 15:52) This is something we hope for (aka know, believe) because His word says so. Jesus says so. What does this mean for us? It means that we have no reason to despair, to fear the future. Our future is glorious because Jesus is coming back to renew all things. To renew us in every way, to make a new Earth and a new Heaven. To rid this world of all evil, of all putrid influence from the Devil. Even the Devil himself will be bound, judged and tormented for eternity (Rev. 19:20).
I see hope playing out all around me, especially in people and nature. There is something incredibly beautiful when I’m photographing a family and the grumpy face of the little one suddenly breaks out into a smile. Life appears in their eyes and they look like a brand new person. The atmosphere also changes with the parents and everyone smiles right back. I see hope and redemption in that. When I take note of the changing seasons and how brand new leaves grow, change colors, and fall to their deaths, I see hope and redemption in that. I look back at the tree who is naked and cold and think “Just wait until new life grows and clothes you in beauty”. There’s a reason why Romans 1:20 talks about creation showing God’s invisible qualities. He plays out the plan of redemption through us and through the rest of His creation. We are all groaning for His return, for the future glory and renewal (Rom. 8:22). In the meantime, my desire is to speak and show of how Jesus offers us Himself to redeem and make us new. Whether that be through proclaiming the gospel with words, actions and my writing and photography, as long as people can see that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life it is worth it all.