The Hope That Is Our Lifeline By JOHN ELDREDGE
The Hope That Is Our Lifeline
By JOHN ELDREDGE
“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God …” Hebrews 6:19 (MSG)
Last year was a very hard year for Stasi and me; I know it was for many people.
As the calendar went on, we experienced wave after wave of loss. First came a suicide in our extended family. Then our son and daughter-in-law — so happy to be pregnant with their first child — went through a brutal miscarriage. As a result, I buried my first grandson on the mountain behind our home. Just a few months later, my dearest friend of 40 years died of cancer. A hard year to be sure.
In the midst of so much loss, I found myself asking, Jesus, what is it we’re supposed to look forward to? After your losses begin to mount up, you wonder what it is you’re supposed to hope for.
It was about that time I began to take a fresh look into God’s promises. And what I found took my breath away. In Matthew chapter 19, Peter has actually just asked Jesus the same question I had — What is it we are supposed to look forward to? Jesus replies like this:
“Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” >Matthew 19:28b-29 (NIV)
That phrase — “at the renewal of all things” — is what caught my heart. I’d never heard God’s promise of hope to us described in this way. I began looking up other versions:
“Jesus replied, ‘Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields — whatever — because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life.’”
The renewal of all things? The re-creation of the world? We get it all back?! How have I missed this all my life? The Holy Spirit gently nudged me to remember Revelation 21, a passage of Scripture that’s been dear to me:
“’He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:4-5 (NIV)
When Jesus Christ returns, heaven and earth are restored. As it says in Acts, Jesus remains in heaven … “until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets” Acts 3:21b (NIV). He restores our lives and the earth we love — even our homes and “fields.”
I realized I wasn’t really daydreaming about heaven because it was so vague (and kind of religiously weird).
But rather when Jesus spoke of the Renewal of All Things, He talked about our relationships, our homes (places that are special to us) and even our work (that’s what “fields” meant in his day). My heart started to sing at the thought that nothing is truly lost.
O friends, the great hope of the Christian life is not that we’ll find a parking spot tomorrow. Nor that we’ll get a raise next week (although God cares about those things).
The real hope that’s the anchor of the soul, the unbreakable spiritual lifeline, is the hope that any day now, our loving Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will usher in the Renewal of All Things.
Everything you've lost … everything you might still lose. It’s all coming back to you.
And that's truly a hope worth looking forward to.
O Father, I pray You would open my eyes to this breathtaking hope. I pray that I would be filled with the hope of the restoration of all things. Come into my every loss, dear God, and speak to me about this precious hope. I want an anchor for my soul; I want an unbreakable spiritual lifeline. Restore my hope in the restoration. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Peter 3:13, “But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What are the first three things you want to do when you step into a restored life on a restored earth?