The dark enclosed us within our packed Prius during the deep winter night. As we journeyed the wavering roads through the hills of Oregon, fear and doubt began to seep into my mind. Every mile that numbered our odometer indicated the further we were venturing into foreign lands.
King County, Washington was our destination and a ministry opportunity was our purpose. The area, the climate, the culture, the church, the coffee; each of these and many more would be brand new for us.
New is a nicer way of referring to foreign or the unknown. Although the opportunity for ministry is promising, stepping into the new or unknown was still unnerving to say the least.
Abram & Future Hope
Many years ago, God called a man named Abram.
He asked him to leave his home, extended family and nation he had been a part of for decades and to journey into a foreign land.
In this new land, God would begin to build His covenant community. Even though the hope for the future may have sounded promising to Abram, it must have initially been frightening for him and his wife to leave the known and enter into the unknown.
While I worried about what coffee shop I would go to when we moved to Washington, Abram and his wife most likely dealt with much harsher worries in regards to livelihood and community. Still, the two journeyed from the comforts of their homeland into foreign grounds because of the future hope they had in the promises of God.
Jesus & Future Hope
One of the many factors that separates the Christian faith from others is the incarnation of Jesus. God Himself took on humanity to live the life that we as humans are called to live but are unable to because of sin.
The fantastic thing about Jesus becoming a man is what it demonstrates to us about God:
God loves His people with such passionate affections that Jesus chose to leave His perfect, heavenly kingdom and be confronted with sin, pain, suffering and sorrow.
He didn’t have to do this; He chose to do this. Jesus chose to leave the known royal comforts of Heaven and enter into a realm filled with evil, something He was yet to face.
This incarnation culminated at the cross. The bloody, devastating, excruciatingly tormenting cross. On the cross, Jesus entered into the harshest of unknowns. The author of Hebrews shared with us why He was willing to go through such pain:
He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God’s throne.
Jesus obeyed God’s call to leave behind His riches and go into the unknown because of the joy that was set before Him. He knew the hope that was in God and His promises. He knew that what was before Him was immeasurably greater than what God was calling Him to leave behind.
Today & Our Future Hope
What does this look like for us? How does the future hope we have in God affect the way we live today, tomorrow and the rest of our lives?
Maybe it means choosing a different career path. Perhaps it means forgiving someone even though they don’t deserve it. Or maybe it means giving up something foundational to who we are. Why?
We do all this and more because our future hope in God, the hope that is immeasurably greater than what God is calling us to leave behind.