Spring is starting to break through, she's peaking her beautiful head out of her hole, ready to make another appearance for the.........1145th....time? You know, something like that. Man, I just like the first feel of Spring don't ya? Colder weather starting to die down, being pushed out by the warmer; the birds are getting more chirpier. It's in the air; you can feel it in the atmosphere. The sighs of joyful relief can be heard from many people you talk to or interact with. Thank the Lord for Springs arrival!
Yes, I did indeed thank the Lord as I was on my way to meet up with some dear friends for a fun evening. Specifically, I thanked Him for giving me and others the patience to endure through the winter. Ha! For as well all know, for much of the nation it's been one of most brutal and seemingly merciless winters to date! The bitter cold below zero temps, probably hundreds of feet of snow (of course I'm exaggerating), and not to mention the....dreaded crater-like potholes that appeared when the snow melted! It all made me cry out (along with thousands of others), "When will it end!". So, as you could imagine, my thanksgiving to the Lord for giving me, and others, that patient endurance through such a brutal winter was a heart-imbedded genuine one.
I remember telling customers at Trader Joe's (which is my place of employment) that all this winter madness will come to an end, and Spring is coming! Yes, there was indeed that hope, that I was reminded of! SPRING IS COMING!
Now, after giving that thanksgiving to the Lord, a truth came to mind. The truth that this life is rough. Oh, the struggle, the pain, the roughness, the hardships, the heartaches, the longings, the sweating, the groaning, the tears! How far we have fallen, and how much we corrupted! Even creation under a curse, being subjected to futility (Rom. 8:20). Yes, we've all (all people on this God-created green earth) experienced in many ways the effects of the fall, and are effected by the effects of sin. Oh, to be rid of our sin, and the sin in this world!
Here is our hope:
"And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." ~Rom. 8:23
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne, 'Behold the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there ne mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'" ~Rev. 21:3-4
This hope is a hope that is not false or vain. It's a hope, a promise, and a guarantee that embrace in with faith. A gospel-hope, a gospel-promise that is a sure as the wind is as it blows against our faces. For it's because of the Gospel, that we are citizens of a kingdom that has come and is coming; a kingdom that won't be shaken (Heb. 12:28)! Indeed it's through the proclamation of the Gospel by the church that Jesus is on the move making righting wrongs, dispelling the darkness with the light of His glory, healing, restoring, & redeeming!
So yea, there will be many a time where we become weary, worn, exhausted, beat down, and overwhelmingly discouraged and distraught by all the sin, evil, darkness, & corruption in the world. It will makes us want to cry out along with the Christian band Tenth Avenue North, "Let me see redemption win! Let me know struggle ends!" Yet, I hear Jesus say, "The one endures to the end will be saved." That is our call to persevere, to endure, to press on against the tide of sin, the flesh, and the world. To look to and cling to Christ as we do so! Embracing the promises of our great Shepherd and Savior's return! The promises of future glory & grace (Rom. 8:18 & 1 Pet. 1:13)!