Mere Christianity: Hope

“Yesterday is but a dream. Tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness & every tomorrow a vision of hope”- Kalidasa

“… a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It also does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is… It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.” (pg. 134)

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself”- Philippians 3:20, 21

“Most of us find it very difficult to want ‘Heaven’ at all except in so far as ‘Heaven’ means meeting again our friends – loved ones – who have died. One reason for this difficulty is that we have not been trained: our whole education tends to fix our minds on this world. Another reason is that when the real want for Heaven is present in us, we do not recognise it…

… most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do not want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world.

The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love, or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning can really satisfy. I am not speaking of unsuccessful marriages, or holidays, or learned careers. I am speaking of the best possible ones. There was something we grasped at, in that first moment of longing, which just fades away in th reality” (pg. 135)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”- 1 Peter 1:3-5

“Now there are two wrong ways of dealing with this fact, and one right one:

(I) The Fool’s Way – He puts the blame on the things themselves. He goes on all his life thinking that if only he tried another woman, or went for a more expensive holiday, or whatever it is then, this time, he really would catch the mysterious something we are all after. Most of the bored, discontented, rich people in the world are of this type.

(II) The Way of the Disillusioned ‘Sensible Man’ – He soon decides that the whole thing was moonshine – nonexistent. By the time he is old, he’d given up chasing the rainbow’s end. And settle down and learn not to expect too much and represses the part of himself which used ‘to cry for the moon’.

(III) The Christian Way – ‘Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist’. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing – heaven.- If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the real thing. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.” (pgs. 135 – 137)

“It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars”- Richard Evans

“There is no need to be worried by people who try to make the Christian hope of Heaven ridiculous by saying they do not want to spend eternity playing harps. All the scriptural imagery (harps, crowns, gold, etc.) is, of course, a merely symbolical attempt to express the inexpressible. Musical instruments are mentioned because for many people music is the thing known in the present life which most strongly suggests ecstasy and infinity. Crowns are mentioned to suggest the fact that those who are united with God in eternity share His splendour, power and joy. Gold is mentioned to suggest the timelessness of Heaven and its preciousness.” (pg. 137)

“… so we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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