Dr. Stephen Phinney
Christ | Culture | Creator
Maintaining Hope in The End Times
I woke up this morning to devastating news. Steve Clery, Revelation Media, shared their translation headquarters in the Ukraine was bombed. One of the translation team members wrote:
“The amount of evil we’ve seen over the past three weeks compares to both WW1 and WW2. Over 4 million Ukrainians have become refugees. Russian soldiers have surrounded 300,000 people in the city of Mariupol for over two weeks. There’s no water, gas, food, or heat in sub-freezing temperatures. Over 90% of the buildings have been demolished. My pastor friend’s son died from dehydration yesterday.”
This is one story of thousands who suffer from the ramifications of the Russian Ukraine war and many other global conflicts.
God’s people need hope.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
It is easier for those who live in the western world to dismiss the level of pain and suffering our fellow brothers and sisters face daily globally. However, that seems to be changing quickly.
Exulting in tribulations is easier said than done. While most of us know that our Lord is not in the habit of removing tribulations, we also know that tribulation ignites a choice to either persevere or not. Those who choose “hope” reveal proven character that never disappoints. This formula is relevant because tribulation discerns for those who suffer if the love of God has been poured into the “believer” through the Holy Spirit. In this, we find our Lord separating the “goats from the sheep.”
Without question, we are living in the End Times.
Hope has never been as important as it is today. Those who possess hope are the vessels God needs to evangelize a world that lacks such hope. The world is calling God’s prophecies “doomsday.” Authentic prophecy is designed to lead us past the chaos and cataclysm to Christ Himself, who already is victorious over trials and tribulations that come with His End Times. It is in this important doctrine that we find hope. It is the framework of living victoriously in an imploding world.
The human mind finds peace when it discovers the end results in advance. The exact reason for the Lord’s prophecies. However, this puts a damper on what righteous hope is all about.
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? (Romans 8:24)
For most, seeing is believing. Like faith, hope birthed through the indwelling Life of Christ is authentic. Jesus wants us to have hope in the things we do not see. Meaning, we believe in what the Lord says will happen, eagerly look for it, and be willing to preserver while we wait for it (Rom. 8:25).
Hope classically is viewed as a comfort, a pill of sorts, to calm our troubled hearts. In God’s reality, it is somewhat of the opposite. Hope is a segment of a belief that empowers us to preserver through troubling times – particularly the End Times. Hope is the element that causes faith to grow (2 Corinthians 10:15). When a heart is troubled, hope is what leads us to the God of all comfort. It isn’t hope that comforts; it is trusting in the Life of Christ to bring the unseen to the seen world in His timing. This is real-time hope – particularly in the realm of eschatology. The human mind does not need to understand all the tentacles of prophecies to have hope, or else hope would be impotent.
Hope is a gift.
Because of the hope laid up for you in Heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the Gospel… (Colossians 1:5)
You might not know this fact. Hope is waiting in Heaven for all authentic believers. It is NOT something you practice, replicate, or make possible. It is a gift waiting to be imparted. For those who tap into this reality, it will come to believers through the Grace of God in Truth (Jesus). If anyone knows humanity needs hope, it is Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself knows that hope cannot be received unless the believer is filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Colossians 1:9). Hope is needed to believe that Christ fully controls all past, present, and future events. Hope doesn’t debate, demand answers, or manipulate the unseen for individualized comfort. Many lie to themselves about trauma and chaos to isolate themselves from the reality of daily tribulations, which God ordains to produce perseverance. Their self-lies won’t work. Hope involves trust, and trust is the gateway to belief – believing the God of the universe and beyond knows the “why” global tragedies MUST occur. Without trust, we rust.
The Great Mysteries of Hope
To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)
Yes, it is true. Hope is a mystery. Meaning we don’t have to understand it to manifest it. Hope is directly connected to Christ in you. We need to stop praying for it and begin applying it through Christ living within us. The practical aspect of this is in constantly remembering the believer’s work of faith and labor of love produces our steadfast hope. However, the hope is in our Lord Jesus Christ, who focuses on hope is birthed through knowing the presence of the Father is all around us (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?