We asked readers: What comes to mind when you think of the words “the blessed hope”? How has the reality of Christ’s return affected your Christian experience, as well as that of your family and friends? Here are a few of their responses.—Editors.
A rescue mission to save us from this sinful world comes to mind whenever I reflect on the words “blessed hope.”
During World War II U.S. general Douglas MacArthur was ordered to leave the Philippines because of an impending enemy invasion. MacArthur fled Corregidor with the solemn promise “I shall return.”
MacArthur did return to the Philippines. He announced his triumphant return on the radio: “This is the voice of freedom. . . . I have returned.”
Like MacArthur, God will keep His promise to return and take us home.
Axel, Colorado, United States
Born into a Roman Catholic home, I knew that we go to heaven when we die, passing through a purgatory experience. Then I learned that Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2, 3).
The blessed hope is that we’ll be received by Christ Himself, and inherit the everlasting kingdom of God. I don’t want to go alone. My wife, our son, and our two daughters, if we keep the faith, will all ascend to the city of God.
As I preach this gospel to others, I pray that my family, like that of Noah’s, will be saved. We shall meet there.
James, Nairobi, Kenya
No matter how difficult life seems here on earth, I have the strength to continue. People are sometimes difficult to love and deal with. They can be unlovable and unloving. Yet when I think of Christ’s soon return, I am reminded of Him. He will come not only for me, but for the whole world. He loves all people, no matter how bad they seem. He died on the cross for our sins.
When I am tempted to be mad at someone, I remember Jesus. Thinking about His return gives me joy, peace, strength, and assurance that everything ugly in this world will come to an end. I am energized to love all people, just as God loves us.
Jayvee, Quezon, Bukidnon, Philippines
I have lost three loved ones in three successive years (brother in 2011, sister in 2012, and father in 2013). Our family has gone through unimaginable crucibles dealing with sudden deaths and severe diseases.
Although I know that pain is a blessing not everyone appreciates, I long for Jesus to come again to give us life eternal, and to awaken my loved ones from death’s slumber. I long for the day that death, sickness, suffering, and pain won’t exist.
The blessed hope is also about embracing Jesus, accepting Him as our personal Saviour and Advocate. We are living in troublous times. Yet through the Holy Spirit we can have peace amid chaos. I love to share the blessed hope with everyone.
Lailanie, Silang, Cavite, Philippines
The blessed hope is the gift that every individual on this planet has been given by our awesome Creator. If embraced, those three words have the ability to save lives, transform thinking, and provide peace and joy in a world of uncertainty and pain.
I am eternally grateful that we had parents who nurtured this gift. Although both my parents are asleep in Jesus, it gives me great comfort knowing that I will see them again and be able to thank our Saviour for this gift.
Pamela, New Hampshire, United States
The reality of Christ’s return affects my Christian experience drastically. It puts me in the state of mind to live in readiness, as if I have only an hour, a minute, a second left here. This also affects my friends, because, after making myself an example, I inform them that we have only a short time here and that they need to set their houses in order because the Son of man will be coming again.
This truth gives me peace that in spite of what happens now, and what’s to come, I will see Jesus and be with Him in eternity.
Sandra, California, United States
In my country life is fraught with stress and insecurity because of political uncertainty and economic stagnation. Many have emigrated from a future that seems bleak. I may envy those who relocate to greener pastures, but I realize that even those pastures have their own problems—postmodern societies tearing at the seams. Only the coming of the Saviour can solve my problems, my country’s problems, and the world’s problems, replacing them with infinite joy and peace. His return gives me comfort as I navigate the unique circumstances of my homeland, knowing that soon Christ will come to establish a perfect world.
The blessed hope helps me get up every day with the strength and will to face a world without faith. It opens my eyes to contemplate the wonders of God, both small and large. Above all, it helps me to appreciate the gift of life, and to use the time He gives me to spend with Him as I would with a good friend.