Monday, February 14, 2005

Christian Virtue - HOPE

Greek word for hope elphis, means a joyful expectancy of the future heavenly blessedness. Paul calls it "the hope that is laid in heaven. "(Colossians 1:5). This hope reminds us that the salvation which we already enjoy in Christ has a future aspect. The hope is ours here and now; its fulfilment lies ahead. The certainty and confidence we have is because Jesus Christ, who is sitting at the right hand of God, is our guarantor and, at the same time, He is dwelling in its via the Holy Spirit as our hope of glory.

From the ancient word and up to today, for many, hope is just an empty bubble, a distant mirage or an elusive dream. When the Apostle Paul used the word "elphis" he knew that God who has promised us a good and glorious future is able to fulfil that promise. We, like an ugly worm shall be changed one day to be like an exquisite butterfly. This mortal body which is perishable and corruptable will be changed to immortality. One day we shall have a sinless heart and an incorruptible body. This glorified body will have a perfect home in heaven. There, the sun of joy will never set. The roses will never fade. There, we shall "hunger no more, neither thirst any more." All fears and tears will be gone. Sin, sickness and suffering will never invade. Death will be abolished. There, we shall be re-united with our loved ones who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Master. There, we shall be like Christ yet retaining those distinctive traits of character and personality which made each of us unique here on earth. There, we shall see our Saviour face to face in all His glory. Hymn writer, Carrie E. Breck, puts it this way, "What rejoicing in His presence, when are banished grief and pain, when the crooked ways are straightened and the dark things shall be plain!"

Having such a glorious hope for the future laid up for us in heaven, we should `purify ourselves even as He is pure." (I John 3:23). As we shall be like Him in consummation, must we not grow, like Him now, in character? Let us prepare ourselves by living a life that befits that coming coronation day.

Next, such a hope should keep us contentedly labouring without expecting a present reward. If our labour of love goes unnoticed, it is because we are labouring for the reward in heaven. Think of the hope that kept William Carey through those early years of heavy setbacks in India. Think of Adouirah Judson who preached every day for 14 years in a Burma bazaar without seeing a single convert. These men set their hope on the reward above. They were faithful to their callings and left the results to God.

Finally think of the fine example Paul left for us to emulate. In writing to the Colossae Christians, he gave thanks to God who is responsible for the virtues and graces of His people. He wrote, "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel. "(Colossians 1 :3-5). May Christians today live up to Christian virtue - faith, love & hope.

Lastly i conlude with a hymn written by Carrie E. Breck. Title of this hym is Face to face with Christ my Savior (Click to hear midi)

Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ Who died for me?

Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!

Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkened veil between,
But a bless├Ęd day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.


What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.


Face to face—oh, blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.


1 comment:

Terry Finley said...

I invite you to visit my blog and to study the Bible with me.

Terry Finley