Caleb Stephen is an Australian Christian conservative commentator. Follow him on Twitter @CalebSOfficial or visit his website, www.calebstephen.com.
The times we live in are so grim that it’s difficult to even describe it in words. The unprecedented rise of governmental tyranny and corruption; acts of Islamic terrorism; the utter hatred, cruelty, violence, perverseness, poverty, tragedy and injustice around the world; the collapsing economy; the disintegration of the family, church, society and values; the slaughter of the unborn, the aged and the vulnerable – these are just a few of many things that trouble my heart as I’m sure it does for many others.
Spiritual darkness and depravity surrounds this world like a shroud of fog and it makes one question whether there’s any hope in this life. Flick on the radio, TV or open up a news website in your browser and you’ll no doubt find out about the latest act of terror, suffering of mankind, corruption and tyranny in high places or some sort of injustice someplace in the world. It’s so easy for us to retreat into the mindset that hope belongs in the realms of the delusional world of fantasy, because when we look around, we think we can’t see it… to us it’s not palpable. It’s so easy to get into that state of despondency and despair when we look at all the evil that so freely abounds.
Sometimes we need to stop and put things into perspective and that’s what I hope to do with this article.
Over 2000 years ago God sent his only begotten Son into the world in the form of a man. He lived on this earth for 33 years serving those in need, healing the sick and teaching others. Then He went willingly and lovingly to the cross to die the death we deserved… to pay the price for our sins – the price that we would never be able to pay. He was buried by a handful of His devout followers, then on the 3rd day He arose from the grave victorious, defeating death and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven. Through what He has done for us, we can now have a personal relationship with our Creator.
1 Peter 1:3-5 hold some wonderful truths: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Hope is an integral part of the Christian faith as we will find in Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It’s what gets us through those dark times. Without Christ stepping in to history, there would be absolutely no hope for mankind. But because He exists and lives in the hearts of those who repent and put their faith in Him, there will always be hope. What a wonderful truth that is — we have real, palpable, living HOPE! This hope does not come from or is found in other people, our circumstances or ourselves. It’s solely rooted and found in a relationship with the personal-infinite, loving, merciful, gracious and powerful God who loved us enough to give us an option to escape the consequences of our depravity.
Consider the following Bible verses:
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Hebrews 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…
Lamentations 3: 21
21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
Even though the days are growing darker, we must never forget that we can rejoice because we know the end of the story and it’s a good one! All manner of evil and Satanism will dominate the world for a relatively short period of time but then Christ will come back to this earth and overcome all the wickedness in this world and reign victorious.
Ruthless and tyrannical leaders and power-grabbers may be thriving on this earth at least for now, but one day they will each have to give an account of their lives before the judgment seat of Christ. We can rejoice that justice will be served by the One who judges righteously.
We think of all the aborted unborn human babies and the terrible crimes committed against them by Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, evil doctors and intentionally ignorant or deceived mothers. We can rejoice that God takes all these little ones to be with Himself. They are all in a better place having never seen or tasted of the unspeakable evil in this world.
Anti-Christian bigotry and hate is multiplying aggressively like cancer these days. Christians are being beaten back by the cultural Marxists and liberals. It appears as though we’re on the losing side but we have to remember that God is with us in this battle – He is on our side! We are not and will never be alone in fighting to uphold Biblical truth and Christian values.
We must remember that as the days grow darker, the light of God can shine brighter and that is to be accomplished in a large way through us as Christians, ambassadors for Christ. We are told that we’re ‘the light of the world’ (Matt 5:14) so let’s not shirk our responsibility; instead let’s shine bright in this dark world.
May God give us His strength and courage to press on in these dark times that we live in. Keep fighting the good fight, Christians and remember: because of Christ, we can have hope for tomorrow!