Why is the Gospel relevant in today’s age?—Because it gives us hope despite everything that is happening in the world .
When we look around us it doesn’t take long for us to truly realise that this is a fallen world we live in. We are constantly bombarded by that fallenness. Over the last little while I have been watching the show Designated Survivor. I am enjoying it, but every single episode is a story of war, disease, the evilness of people and I could go on with many other things. I realise that’s the whole point of the show, but it says something about the world we live in. Those things are not fantasy, but a potential reality. Indeed, a reality for many.
Think about the coronavirus that is sweeping the world now. People are in a panic about it. Yet another disease that is a sign of the fallenness we live in.
Then think about personal tragedy that is such a reality in almost every person’s life. I myself lost both my parents by the age of 16. I have a friend whose brother-in-law who is in his 40’s with a wife and kids who has recently had a brain aneurism.
It’s all around us all the time. Next time you walk down the street, look at the people around you. Realise how almost everyone you pass is affected by this fallen world we live in. When you truly realise this, it can be overwhelming and you can feel hopeless.
When we think about all this, isn’t it amazing how believers have hope in spite of it all. The hope that we have in God truly does surpass all understanding. I would like to encourage you with just a few verses from the Bible.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-10 Paul says,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God…For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.”
The Psalmist wrote about the Lord in Psalm 40:1-3,
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”
In Isaiah 41:1-10 there is a magnificent passage where God tells about his mightiness and then at the end tells Isaiah that he will uphold him. Read the following and be encouraged that our God is a mighty God and he is upholding us!
“Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment. Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he. The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, ‘Be strong!’ The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, ‘It is good’; and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved…. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
And lastly, Paul writes to the Romans about the incomparable love of God for us in Romans 8:31-39
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When you encounter people who seem to have the weight of the world on them, when you speak to people who talk about the evilness of man, or the tragedies that abound around them, be reminded that we serve a God who gives us hope. Introduce them to your Father in heaven. Show them that he is God and he gives hope to the hopeless. Share with them how you have hope, not just for the life to come, but also now in this life in spite of everything, because God is with you.