It can feel, sometimes, or maybe most of the time, like there is not much to hope for. Last week as our church worshiped in Arlington Heights, IL 26 innocent people were killed in a church in Texas as they also worshiped Jesus. Talk about hopelessness.
But, it never seems to end. Before the murders in Texas there was Las Vegas. Before that, Orlando. There is the constant threat of nuclear war, the shootings and murders closer to home, the cancer, the broken relationships, and the death the creeps in on us and takes away people we love.
And so we grieve. Our hearts break as we look out at the world around us. We are sad. And that’s ok. The Bible is full of grieving people. The Psalms are full of cries and tears. Jesus cried and shed tears. As long as we live in this world of sin and hurt and brokenness there will be grief.
And yet, we do not grieve without hope. The world looks awfully hopeless sometimes, but there is hope for us. That might sound hard to believe with everything going on around us, but it’s true. It’s God’s promise. There is hope.
Our hope is not that one of us will strike it rich and win the lottery so that we can buy an island and escape to paradise. Our hope is not found in a pill or a bottle. Our greatest hope is not even found in escaping this world and fleeing to heaven.
No, our greatest hope is found in the restoration and renewal of this world and in Heaven coming down to us at the return of Jesus Christ.
You see, Jesus is coming back here. Yes, to this hopeless world. We don’t know when that will be. There’s a lot we don’t know about what that will look like, but it’s His promise. He promises to return one day to raise the living and the dead and to institute a kingdom that will have no end. He promises to finish what He started on the cross in defeating Satan, Sin, and Death. That’s our hope: Jesus.