Why we can lift up our heads, in hope for the future

Why we can lift up our heads, in hope for the future

Jesus tells us that we should not be troubled by the terrible things that happen in the world.

04/03/20246 min

By ActiveChristianity

Why we can lift up our heads, in hope for the future

No matter how old you are, where you live in the world, how poor or rich you are, there is one "enemy" that most of us face at some time in our lives – and that is fear for the future. Who doesn’t want to be totally free of this fear and have rest within? Personally, this is what I long for and I know as I get closer to God in the hidden, He will give more and more of His rest and peace as a firm rock under my feet.

The coronavirus time

I moved to another city several years ago for my job. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out, strict regulations and a lockdown of the city was the reason that very few got infected by the virus. But it all felt so unreal. A big city that was always full of noise and activity was almost silent. The streets were empty. There was panic, fear and frustration.

The virus spread to almost every country of the world, many people died, borders were closed, countries were on lockdown, and the whole world was living in uncertainty, fear and much sorrow.

On social media and in the news, people were wondering if this was a sign of the end times. It was maybe this fear that the end is getting closer which everyone was thinking about. But no matter how frightening everything seemed to be, Jesus tells us that we should not be troubled by the terrible things that come everywhere in the world. (Matthew 24:6-8.) Actually, He says in Luke 21:28 that when these things begin to happen, that you should “lift up your heads because your redemption is near.” The time that God will set us free will then be very close.

Why you can lift up your head

Jesus says in Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV), “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” 

Standing firm means that we stand firm in our love for Jesus. Even though we can be tempted very strongly to fear, there is nothing we actually need to fear if we love Him. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…” 1 John 4:18 (CEB). If we love Jesus, He will never leave us or abandon us. (Hebrews 13:5.) This relationship with Jesus is not only for this life, but it is for eternity.

Faith speaks about the future. As long as we are alive, there is hope – hope that we can stand firm to the end and be ready for Jesus’ return. Faith in this will lead us to repent and put our life in order according to what we understand from God’s word. As it says in John 14:15 (NLT), “If you love me, obey my commandments.” 

Even the thief on the cross beside Jesus knew that as long as he was alive, he could still make things right with God. In his final moments, he gave his heart to God, and Jesus promised him a place in Paradise. We don’t know how much time we have left, but we do know that we have more time than the thief on the cross had left; more time to grow up in Jesus.

Jesus is merciful. He knows what it’s like to be tempted. He knows what it’s like to go through great trials. He was a human being, familiar with sorrows. (Isaiah 53.) The reason He chose to come to earth when He had everything in heaven was to have brothers and sisters. His love for mankind is greater than we can understand. He wants it to go well for us! (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9.)

As long as we are alive, we will find things that can be done better. Don’t be discouraged, Jesus is not searching for perfect people. None of us is perfect yet. He is looking for disciples – people who are obedient to what He speaks and whose heads, or hearts, are lifted up towards Him. When we are disciples we can trust God and know that our life is in His hands and the end will not happen one moment earlier than it should.

We have today!

The coronavirus pandemic is mostly under control and the time of isolation has passed, and for most of us, life has returned to “normal”. It has been a unique time which none of us who have lived through it will forget. But now other times and other challenges are coming.

How do I use these times? Do I use these times to get to know God in a deeper way? To think about my life and God’s word? Maybe there are things we should put right and ask forgiveness for? Are there things on our conscience? It is actually when we are quiet that God can speak most to us, if we are willing to listen. We can come out of such challenging times as an inwardly changed person if we use the time well.

God made the universe. There is nothing that He can’t make or that can stop Him. He holds the whole world in His hands. It says in Isaiah 40:15 (NLT): “… for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales.” Could God not have stopped this virus before it spread to the corners of the earth?

Of course, He could have. But I personally firmly believe that He wanted to wake us up to the importance of using our time well, and to what comes next – eternity. All of this is part of God’s plan and He has a full overview. We must seek God with a true and upright heart. It is not yet the end. It is still the time of grace and that should fill us with great hope and joy, and a firm decision to prepare ourselves for eternity!

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This article is based on an article by Sarah originally published on https://activechristianity.org/ and has been adapted with permission for use on this website.