COLLINS COLUMN: Our path in history did not start, nor will it end, with today

Published 12:30 pm Saturday, November 5, 2022

By Dean Collins
President, Point University

Those who came before us, those who are with us now, and those who are yet to be born are all linked together in God’s great story of redemption. All of us who claim faith today should be thankful for those who laid for us a foundation of faith in decades past. Those faithful forbears, those who will serve God in the future, along with those here today celebrate with thanksgiving the great mercy of our Lord.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that our moment has a history and our history forms a path for those who are yet to be born. When we are in the middle of dealing with day-to-day life that sometimes includes suffering, it is important to understand God knows what is going on and will even use our suffering for his glory when we lean into Jesus, our living hope.

Peter wrote words of encouragement to early Christians who lived in a time when Jesus could no longer be visibly seen. Peter, of course, had seen Jesus. He knew Jesus before and after his death and resurrection. Many of the earliest followers of Jesus also had that experience. But it wasn’t long before most and now all of us who have placed our faith in Jesus have done so based on the testimonies of those who have gone before us. We have not seen the resurrected Christ, but we have seen and felt his presence.

Peter’s words remind us that when various trials come to us, God uses our suffering to refine and strengthen our faith so that we demonstrate living hope to those around us while we wait for the fulfillment of Christ’s return and the restoration of all things.

But in our current moment, it is easy for us to lose perspective and hope. Every day there are examples of those who want us to believe that only the political conservatives or the political progressives can save us. As followers of Jesus, we must be careful that we do not get drawn into believing that government produces our salvation or that political leadership can slow or halt the work of God’s kingdom. Early Christians thrived and the church exploded with growth during seasons when governments and rulers despised followers of Jesus. Our inheritance is much greater and vastly more important than any political party’s ideology or control.

Peter’s reminder is that we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Furthermore, our inheritance is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” And note Peter’s next line about where our hope and inheritance reside. No matter how great you think America or any other country may be. No matter how wonderful the words of the constitution are. Our future hope is kept in Heaven and is guarded by God’s power as we await the final revelation of Jesus and experience eternal life together with Jesus. May we follow Peter’s example and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory as we wait to obtain the outcome of our faith and the salvation of our souls. May we live faithfully today so that another generation of faith may rise and continue to follow Jesus, spreading the good news far and wide.