Rejoice in hope… Romans 12:12
Ask yourself: If my hope were only in this world, and I had no hope of eternal life, what would my life look like? Perhaps you would say one or more of the following:
“I’d work less.” I would definitely take more time off. I’d focus more attention on all of the things I want to do, and I’d probably live with the constant feeling that I’m running out of time.
“I’d give less.” I would need all the money I can possibly get to do all the things that I want to do. The natural result of this would be to give less.
“I’d grieve more.” If my hope was primarily in this world, then anything that I lost in this world would end up being an ultimate and an irreplaceable loss.
“I’d defend myself more.” This world would be the only place where things that are wrong could be put right, so I would need to make sure they’re all put right.
These are the same issues that Paul draws out in Romans 12: Do not be slothful in zeal (12:11). Why? Because the time is short. Contribute to the needs of the saints (12:13). Why would you give? Because your treasure is in heaven. Be patient in tribulation (12:12). How can you endure tribulation? Because of all that lies ahead of you. Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God (12:19). Why? Because God will set all things right.
When your hope is in Jesus Christ, and in all that He holds in store for you, your hope will touch and change every area of your life!
In which of these four areas (your work, your giving, your grieving, or your self-defense) does it appear that your hope in Christ is impacting your life least?