By Bob Russell
In the past few years I’ve preached to over 200 churches. Nearly everywhere I go Christian people ask: “Is there any hope for the future of our country?” “Do you think we’ll survive our moral free fall?” “Do you see any young leaders on the horizon who can spark a spiritual revival?”
Ours is an age of despair. Many are losing hope. Our government appears dysfunctional. There are international challenges that seem unsolvable. Many struggle with family issues, health problems, and work-related pressures that are overwhelming. That’s one of the reasons why the suicide rate among teens and the elderly is escalating and why so many are turning to drugs and alcohol to escape. People have lost hope.
No Way Out
Imagine taking a quantum leap backward in time and landing in Egypt, 1440 BC. You see Moses and a host of anxious Israelite slaves camped on the bank of the Red Sea. In the distance you spot the massive Egyptian army camped for the night. They’ve got horses and chariots and spears and are poised to recapture their slaves and return them to Egypt.
As you move among the panicky Israelites, you overhear their dejected complaints: “This is dreadful!” “There’s no way out.” “We shouldn’t have listened to Moses. We were better off as slaves in Egypt than dead here in the desert. Let’s just commit mass suicide tonight. It’s hopeless!”
Since you know how the story ends, you would beg the Israelites not to yield to despair. “Hold on! Stand still and watch! God is about to do an incredible miracle. Something you have never seen before is about to happen. God is going to part the sea, and you will walk in freedom tomorrow.”
Most of them wouldn’t believe you, even though your message would be true. The circumstances appeared completely hopeless that night, but there was every reason to be hopeful because all things are possible with God.
What’s in Store
The apostle John took a quantum leap forward in time. He was given a glimpse of what God has in store for our future. He then wrote the book of Revelation to instill hope in us.
John saw Satan defeated. “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
Imagine Satan immobilized and his demons humiliated. No more drunk driving accidents, no more drug overdoses, no more sexually transmitted diseases, no more still ultrasounds, no more child abuse, no more mass shootings, no more chemotherapy, no more bankruptcies, no more adulterous affairs, no more broken homes, no more scoffing at the Bible or ridiculing Christians.
No wonder the saints will shout, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments” (19:1, 2).
John also saw Jesus reigning. “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude . . . shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!’” (19:6, 7).
Don’t lose heart. There is going to be a miraculous intervention in the future. Jesus Christ is coming back to make all things new.
All Things Right
I once tried to comfort a father whose 22-year-old daughter had just been killed in a tragic automobile accident. The distraught dad was trying to retain his faith. I pleaded with him, “Hold on. The Lord is going to come back soon, and he’s going to make all things right.” The dignified, normally imposing businessman sobbed, “Oh, I wish it were today!”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Bob Russell is the retired senior minister of Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky. Copyright 2013 by Bob Russell. Permission to
copy this column may be obtained by writing Debbie Carper, Southeast Christian Church, 920 Blankenbaker Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40243.
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