“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (NIV)
It was a grade 11 philosophy class. We were reading challenging thinkers like Martin Buber and Friedrich Nietzsche.
But when it came to discussion… I was kind of silent.
After a few weeks of zip from the lip from yours truly the teacher stopped me in the hall to see what was wrong. I said that I liked the readings, but it was a new experience for me. And with all of the discussion, I didn’t really know how we were being graded. With university on the horizon, I was thinking about these things.
I know, sounds shallow. But it’s true!
So to get me to participate more heartily in the discussions here’s what he did. He guaranteed me an 80%. All I had to do was show up, do my best, hand in any assignments, and participate in the discussions.
So that’s what I did. I’m not sure if I deserved more (or less), but at the end of the term I got an 80%!
(I realize the ethics on this one are debatable, but let’s just agree to let it slide.)
Here’s how it impacted my thinking. Knowing how the course would turn out in the end gave me a certain confidence in the classroom.
I think a similar thing happens in our brains when we think about the end of history. Even though we don’t know all the details, the Bible tells us what’s going to happen:
Jesus will return, judgment will occur, and we will finally see the marriage of heaven and earth. It’s called “the new heavens and the new earth.”
This is what it will be like: God “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Can you imagine!
So knowing how history will turn out in the end helps you to be a kind of certain kind of confident person today:
A person of confident hope.
On November 11th many countries are marking Remembrance Day or Veteran’s Day. It’s a time not only to honour the service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the horror of war, but to renew ourselves as people of hope.
Are you a person of hope?
Here’s one way to tell. In your conversations, do your words contribute more to the cynicism of the world? Or to hope?
If not you, who?
When you believe in the hope of tomorrow, you can be the hope of today.
By Matthew Ruttan