The first fruits of hope have already been sown.
Very early on God already told us he would fix this mess from Genesis 3. There's a refrain over all of Scripture that a rescue is coming. Then he actually came. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God guaranteed victory. He then came and opened up our hearts. Those he predestined he called.
When you start to lose hope, remember the Spirit does not lead where the Spirit doesn't empower.
"Hope without a time of fulfillment is delusional" Graham Goldsworthy. We are not delusional but people from the outside think we are absurd. Our message will always reeks of death to some. You cannot contextualize the gospel and remove the stench.
It’s a beautiful picture of the world renewed.
This not ethereal. It's tangible and real. We aren't playing the harp in the clouds. "The desert will blossom like the rose." Isaiah 65:1 "The wolf and the lamb should feed together." the violence of the universe is settling into the sweet peace. Habakkuk 2:14 "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.1 Corinthians 15 "imperishable bodies." The vitality of our resurrected bodies will shame your bodies now. Our bodies now will betray you. Whatever is sowed in dishonor will rise honor. David is in agony about being in the presence of the Lord "as the deer pants for the water so my soul longs for you."
C.S. Lewis in The Last Battle says,
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
It’s a beautiful picture of the bride of Christ
Not only are all these things wonderful recreations are happening but then the angel says, "Let me show you the bride." All the engagement, confrontation, and admonishment in ministry and now we see the fruit of all our labors. We get to see Christ's bride. W are passionate about his bride because He is passionate about her.
The first time we see the church in Revelations is in chapters 2-3. Aren't all our ministry like this? Yes. Ephesus had sound doctrine but lost their first love. In Smyrna they endured tribulation. Thyatira they loved sensuality. In Philadelphia they had little power but loved Jesus. In Lacodecia, they were Luke warm.
1 Corinthians 3 Jesus is our foundation but we look out at the whole and there's much wood, hay, and stumble. So much of it will be burned. Yet we hope in what God is accomplishing through steady faithfulness. The crown jewel of the new creation is the bride of Christ. There will be a day when she ceases to be a suffering servant and will be the triumphant bride. We need to be faithful day after day until the fulfillment.
It’s a beautiful picture of Jesus as the light of the new world.
We will be able to get at Jesus any and always. He will remove all weariness and fatigue. Diversity is so hard now but not then. The light of all nations will draw us all together. We do not want to set our mind here as a form of escapism. As we view this it must drive us today. "I want to be faithful to get there! Let me be faithful today" If our time is not up, we must keep driving towards the finish line faithfully. But if our time is up, let's go.
You have to got to over you. We're not high enough to see what God is doing. We're hedging our bets. We have one foot in this world and one waiting for next. Just sell out. It's this view that has Paul calling his life light and momentary, not worthy to be compared. He's not hedging his bet. He's all in. If we do not believe these truths, we must repent. If we do, then let's meditate, hope, and rest in Christ. Hope is important for the man of God. Hope is important for the shepherds for the bride of Christ. Find hope that Jesus saved you. Find hope in knowing there is a finish line.