But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. [NIV 1984]
For some people, this tenacity has to have something more substantial to sustain it and so they latch on to a concrete idea still in the future to uphold their courage. Like a date. Apparently, there is a groundswell of believers who are putting their hope and their courage into May 21, 2011 as “judgment day” and the end of the world. These folks are the antithesis of Rob Bell’s stance in Love Wins. Where Bell’s hell is already manifesting here on earth and our battle is in the now for the power of the Kingdom to take hold; these folks are predicting the great rapture for the enlightened and a fiery hell for everyone else; the only winners in their minds are “people like them.”
Of course, this isn’t just in the Christian world; there’s still 2012 to face as well. With the “end” of the Mayan calendar, some people believe and predict, the end of the world as we know it is next year.
To what or in what do these eschatological folks hope? Mostly, it’s “hope nothin’ bad happens to me” and “just in case,” let’s look into some “fire” insurance . . . or assurance, and join this or that bandwagon.
Here’s the rub: hope implies a good end. And it takes courage to hold onto this kind of hope because our world is full of dark things, dark people, dark rulers and “principalities.” [For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12]
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. . . . ” Matthew 10:28a
Courage cannot be built on a 3D world; there are no guarantees here. Courage and hope can only be built on our faith in the truth of a Christ whose Holy Spirit defies logic and protects the Human Spirit from eternal death and separation from the Creator. Nothing more.
To become a believer in the Christ is a statement of hope. For the words of Christ promise that all will turn out for the best. Courage is the ability to face a different world that mocks hope, questions the supernatural, and defies paradox with proofs and logic. To stand. That’s the key. Whether it’s May 21st or 2012, whether it’s sickness or sorrow or disappointment that have been meted out in large doses, we are called to stand on the solid rock of faith.
And if I fall off that rock because my faith was too small or my fears too great? There is still grace.
“But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.” [Acts 27:22]