[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Glen Elm Church of Christ has been Richard Krogsgaard’s home congregation for 51 years. His wife, Sue, and he count themselves as very blessed to have been able to raise our family within this community of faith.]
Jesus asks this question in Mark 4. Then, Jesus answers the question by saying the Kingdom is like a mustard seed, the smallest of seeds. However, it becomes the largest of garden plants where even birds make their nests and find shade.
My Hope in Christ is confirmed when I have the opportunity to experience a truth that our Lord has spoken about. Recently, on a trip to Israel, Sue and I were blessed to encounter people from different parts of the earth who are believers in Jesus. In various locations throughout Israel, we encountered groups of people from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America openly worshiping and praising the Lord.
Yes, the Kingdom of God started very small, and sometimes it may seem small from my limited perspective. But the Kingdom of God is large and expanding; believers from every part of the earth are finding rest in God’s shade.
One of our most memorable mornings in Israel occurred after hiking to the top of Mount Arbel which is located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The sky was clear, the sun shone brightly, and below was the blue of Galilee. Indeed it was a glorious sight.
But the real blessing was meeting the other disciples of Jesus who had chosen to be there on the same morning.
One man, who I did not meet, was standing on a rock with his hands raised high toward heaven. I am confident that I know what he was experiencing and doing!
An elderly woman from Norway, who was bouncing with joy, spoke about our wonderful Lord. Then she blessed us with a beautiful song of praise. She sang in her own language, but we understood her heart.
As well, we were welcomed to join a group of about 8 people from Switzerland to sing songs of praise to God. It was a Hope-filled moment; one of those moments when being in the presence of God’s people makes the truth of His Kingdom become reality!
The Hope we have in Jesus Christ is not the hope that Western people speak of daily. “I hope I will enjoy Christmas with my family.” “I hope my car will start on cold winter mornings.” “I hope many people will frequent my store today.” This kind of hope is a wish; at best it is a strong desire.
Our Hope is a confident expectation that will not disappoint. Paul stresses this when writing to the Christians in Rome (chapter 5) and Ephesus (chapter 1). Through Jesus, we have been made right in God’s sight. We have been brought into a place of undeserved privilege. We have peace and friendship with God. We have been marked as God’s children by His Holy Spirit. His Spirit is given to us is a guarantee that we will receive the promised eternal inheritance.
This Hope will not disappoint! God is always faithful! It gives God “great pleasure” to bless us with Hope in Christ.