Living With Hope in a Hopeless World by BILL JOHNSON for Charisma News
When Jesus declared that the last days would be filled with war, famine, earthquakes and other disasters, He wasn’t trying to discourage those who followed Him. Instead, He was describing the conditions into which He was sending His last-days army. Hope isn’t just a feeling we search for; it’s something we grab hold of and bring into every situation in our lives.
We recognize how easy it is to become overwhelmed with personal problems, not to mention pandemic diseases, economic disruptions and political unrest. And yet the kingdom of God is real and present. Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is at hand. In other words, the kingdom is in the here and now; it’s within reach.
Jesus modeled this beautifully when He slept in the storm. He is our example who can and must be followed. He was able to sleep in the storm because the world He dwells in has no storms. Period. He modeled living from heaven to earth. He shows us what it was like to dwell in heavenly places before the apostle Paul found language for it in Ephesians.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:4–6, author’s emphasis).
The point is, this reality is far too great to hold as a belief when unaccompanied by experience. To be truly seated in heavenly places in Christ must be measurable by the change in perspective and thinking that has occurred in my life.
Revelation of biblical truth is an invitation to experience that truth. For example, God would never reveal Himself as a Savior merely to increase our spiritual intelligence. He shows us who He is as our Savior that we might experience His salvation. This knowledge of salvation is of little benefit if it is not accompanied by the salvation He promises. In the same way, He doesn’t just enable us to see Him as our provider to make us smarter; He does it so that our hearts would be opened to experience and trust Him for His provision in the daily parts of our lives.