by Angie Thomas
I have a really weird, reoccurring dream. I am in college and half-way through my final semester I realize that I have not been attending a class that I needed to graduate. The entire dream revolves around me trying to do whatever I can to complete this class, but over and over again I forget to go or something prevents me from going or I can’t get the homework done I need to complete the class. I am so frustrated in the dream! Despite my desire to graduate and attempts to do everything I can to complete the class, I cannot. This dream does not have a happy ending. The issue with the class is never resolved and I always wake up agitated and upset. My three and half years of school never result in a degree because I can’t finish this class. It feels like all my hard work up to that point has been for nothing.
This dream reminds me of our condition before Christ. We were completely unable, by our own good works or ability, to receive God’s eternal blessings. “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). It doesn’t matter how many “good” things we do, how much we want it, or how hard we try.
Without hope, without God, and without promise is a really sad, depressing place to be. On the surface, it may not appear that this is our destiny. There is much that often gives the illusion of hope and promise in this life: a new job, relationship, car, outfit, or… you fill in the blank. But the reality is all those things are temporal and their promise is fleeting. Our perfect job will change, people will let us down and disappoint us, and material possessions will fall apart or we will quickly tire of them.
But Paul follows this seemingly hopeless statement with an incredible promise, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13). Because of Jesus’ blood we have been brought near, friends. Let this truth wash over your heart and soul. I think of a big, strong Daddy who bear hugs his kids and brings them next to His chest, squeezes them close to his heart. This is the love of our Abba Father. This is the hope and promise we have in Christ. You are now His beloved, precious and honored in His sight (Isaiah 43:5).
This is unbelievable news… truly good news. We are loved and cared for tenderly and compassionately by our Heavenly Father not only in the life to come, but now as we navigate the challenges and difficulties of this life. Our hope is living and eternal and it is Jesus Himself. May you be renewed and refreshed by the realization of His great love for you. Here is one of many amazing promises to you in His Word:
“The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zeph. 3:17)
Hosanna and Hallelujah! Thank goodness Jesus has secured for us a much happier ending than my weird dream.