Daily Devotionals

Where Does Your Hope Lie

Daniel Bramlett 

Day after day, night after night. I wake up and go to bed thinking the same thing. When is this thing going to end? Yes we are seeing good come out of this chaos, but at the same time people are dying, business are closing, workers are being laid off…there is a good bit of undercurrent wrestling against us. How are you handling this?

I don’t think for a minute that believers will be able to just float through this like a singing Snow White with birds on our shoulders. This is not a blissful time. I will be honest. The Bramlett’s are trying hard to make lemonade right now, but there is a bitter flavor we just can’t shake. But at the same time I know Christ followers have been offered the strongest helping of peace available today in the universe. It is no joke to say that Jesus is our peace.

Jesus prayed “Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matt. 6.9-13) This is not a hurry up and wait prayer. He is not asking for death either. The word isn’t “Heaven will be here one day. Until then just drink the bitter lemonade.” No, this prayer is filled with hope.

Hope doesn’t rest in empty promises. This isn’t the snotty neighborhood kid promising you this time he really will let you play with his toys. This is our best friend; the guy we’ve all learned to love and trust because He has proven Himself to us a thousand times. Don’t think for a minute that just because Heaven hasn’t come yet that His promises are empty.

Jesus’ prayer for Heaven to come down is two-fold. Lord, establish your Kingdom here AND Lord, do it in your timing. These two must be taken together. We would see His Kingdom established yesterday and don’t waste any time either! But that isn’t the heartbeat of this prayer, His prayer. Jesus was asking for what we all desire: the rich and full presence of God among us like we’ve never experienced before. But He wasn’t demanding it. He wasn’t running away, fed up with the times. He wasn’t being sarcastic or playing an April Fools joke. His prayer was based in the full heart of God and He was content to wait on its fulfillment. I believe He fully expects us to pray in this same way.

Holiday Inn Express Best Western Hampton by Hilton

Where does your hope lie? Are you willing to pray for and believe that God’s Kingdom will come in His way and His timing? And I don’t just mean Heaven when we die. I mean the New Heaven and New Earth that John sees unfolding in Revelation, but that is not all I mean. I believe Jesus had His eyes on the current situation when He was teaching on the Mount. His desire was to see Heaven unfold in part right before their eyes. In the middle of the mess, the oppression, the disease, the storms…Jesus prayed “Heaven come down in your timing!”

Based on this hope, I can tell you two things. One, this isn’t Heaven but it isn’t Hell either! God is working in this mess and He will use it for His glory and our good. I know that because of His promises, not because I can see it all right now. One reason this time is so hard for us is because we try to make our good His Heaven. We think all the things in our life that we buy and all the desires culture creates for us are what constitutes Heaven. I’m here to tell you that the version of happiness Hollywood paints for us is NOT Heaven at all! When our shiny, Hollywood version is shaken we begin to question whether or not God really is working. Please hear me say this, when all the stuff we enjoy is in chaos God is giving us an opportunity to trust Him and watch Him work. When all you have to choose from is one kind of bread, God is working. When you have to work from home, God is working. When you can’t watc sports because of the virus, God is working. Just because our pretty little life is stripped away does not mean God has walked away from us. This is not our Heaven. I believe God is giving us a chance to detox and experience Him in a brand new way; a way we wouldn’t have experienced in the ‘old’ world.

The other thing hope tells us that the Heaven Jesus prays for is real and coming. We can bet the bank on that! What’s more, it isn’t just a future reality. We are privileged to see God in part now. When God is fully revealed and we are fully in His presence, that’s Heaven. When God provides our daily bread, forgives us and gives us the chance to forgive others and rescues us from the work of the enemy…we get glimpses of Heaven here on earth. They are veiled glimpses, but they are glimpses nonetheless.

Will you choose to use this time to gripe, fear and pray for our old reality to be restored OR will you use this time to be thankful, ask for peace and pray for the new reality God intends to be revealed? Heaven came down is more than a song! “God show us where you are headed with this thing. We know you are the Author of life. Won’t you give us peace in the midst of threats of death? When we grieve the loss of our normal, will you bring us into Your strong presence? Now more than ever before we want to see you. Your Kingdom come, your will be done!” Amen.

Back to top button