Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Awaiting the Blessed Hope

Here is a beautiful drawing from Chris Powers of Full of Eyes Ministry. His picture brings to life the verse from Titus 2:12-14,

training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

I'm waiting for the Blessed Hope, so eagerly and excitedly.

Chris' artist statement is:
In these verses, Paul's point seems to be that the grace of God teaches us to be godly pilgrims in this life, living in the world as faithful people of God, and yet always waiting, always hoping, always looking for the appearing of our great God - Jesus Christ. I have always been struck by the beauty of Paul's contrasts here....directly after affirming that Christ is "our great God and Savior," he adds "who gave Himself for us." Christ's deity and His sacrificial death are placed side by side as a reminder of the depths of His love and the beauty of His character.....our God is the One who gave Himself for us....and the God who gave Himself for us is the One whose glory will one day dissolve earth an heaven in His appearing......how stunning it will be for believers on that day! 
The One whose beauty is splintering the skies and whose majesty is terrifying the nations,  that same one  is the one who loves us and gave Himself for us....wonderful.
In this image I wanted to show that the believer is a pilgrim and yet always lives with the "sight" (by faith) of Christ's appearing before their eyes....He is our great hope.

Chris Powers illustration, Full of Eyes Ministry
I can't imagine what it will be like when we hear the trumpet and the Voice calling us home! I can't imagine our joy, and our amazement and our relief and our surprise and our worship. I can't imagine what it will be like to live in a body that is un-corrupt and free from sin!

The Christian life is hard. As we grow more toward the holy end of the spectrum the more we hate our own bodies, minds, and hearts. Not because we have low self-esteem, as I used to think before I was saved, but because we know how our sinful acts blot the name of Jesus and are against Him and Him alone. We love Him so much, He being of perfect character and beauty, that when we sin it's hurtful to our own selves more and more. Our very bones groan in agony. Psalm 6:1-3 captures it

O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath.
2Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing;
heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.
3My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O LORD—how long?

And that brings us back to the Titus 2:12 verse. The spirit is training us to renounce ungodliness and live self-controlled upright lives, while we wait for the Blessed Hope. He is Blessed, and the Hope is great! Turn your countenance toward heaven, see the joy set before you (by faith) and know that one day, our joy will be by sight.


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