Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Letter From Andy Diemer - August 5, 2020

Letter From Andy Diemer

August 5, 2020

Hope in the Unseen

The patriarchs of our faith confessed themselves to be "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13). They were seeking an unseen "heavenly country" (verse 16). We are on a pilgrimage like theirs, also seeking that unseen world to come, a world far better than this one. We stake no permanent claim here while "we hope for what we do not see" (Romans 8:25).

By faith, we look for the unseen, heavenly country, but our eyes see a chaotic world that has no rest from its sorrows. Though we still may enjoy relative peace and blessings here, we should perceive that the end of this age is coming. How much we need the kingdom of God! Since we have not yet laid our eyes it, we keep hoping for it. Yet, with the troubles we face along the way of our pilgrimage, it is sometimes hard to keep up hope for what we do not yet see. If we are going to keep our hope in God's kingdom alive, we need to "wait for it with perseverance" (Romans 8:25). That is easier said than done; that takes willful effort.

The Scriptures give us much encouragement in this. Our forebears "all died in faith, not having received the promises" but they "were assured of them and embraced them" (Hebrews 11:13). They kept hoping until their end. Peter tells us to "rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13). Paul says to not be "moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard" (Colossians 1:23). The psalmist said, "I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more" (Psalms 71:14). Inspired by these examples, you also can make the determined effort to keep vibrant hope in the coming, yet unseen kingdom of God.

The troubles of our recent times ought to help sharpen our focus on it. The more we see the world's turmoil, the more we should be motivated to say to God, "Your kingdom come" (Matthew 6:10). Therefore, persevere in your hope like the forebears of our faith. Picture the coming reality with your minds, though you cannot yet see it with your eyes. Do not seek "the things which are seen" but "the things which are not seen," the things which "are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). And, "each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end...imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:11-12)! 

Keep up your "hope of eternal life which God... promised before time began" (Titus 1:2), because "our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11)!

Warm regards,

Andy

Pastor