"Abandon hope all ye who enter here." You may recall this inscription over the gates of hell as depicted in Dante's epic poem, "Divine Comedy." The phrase serves as one of the most chilling expressions of the eternal fate awaiting all those who refuse the only hope provided to condemned sinners, namely, the redeeming grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone provides expectation of a future filled with prospects of goodness, both in this life and in the one to come.
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23:6).
"Embrace hope all ye who enter here" might be an apt welcome by our Lord to all who will enter His realm of grace and mercy in Christ. Indeed, born again believers have so very much to look forward to. This includes the present day, whatever its circumstance, condition, and situation may bring to our doorstep. "I will be with thee" sounds the promise to trusting hearts, foreshadowing the pledge of the Lord Jesus, "I am with you always" (Isaiah 43:2; Matthew 28:20). Moreover, in difficulty, our Lord assures us of even greater presence: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Believers are receptacles of Christ's hope in all things. As we trust Him and the promises of His Word, we find ourselves expecting "goodness and mercy" even in times of challenge, difficulty, pain, and loss.
"I will hope continually, and yet praise Thee more and more" (Psalm 71:14).
The Psalmist's "I will" regarding perpetual hope and growing praise calls us to join him in the determination of expectation. What will this day and forevermore hold? We do not know in specific terms. However, we do know Who holds this day and forevermore. "My times are in Thy hand" (Psalm 31:15). He will be with us as we journey to the future, and He will be awaiting us when we arrive. "I am with you… I will be with you" (Matthew 28:20; Isaiah 43:2). As long as this is true, we can embrace hope as our guide into the next moment, the next day, and forevermore. This is peace. There is no other. And this is power, the power through Christ to arise and go forth in the confidence that we will never face a coming circumstance, condition, or situation that is not filled with the One who will be awaiting us with more than enough grace and provision when we arrive. Embrace hope all ye who enter here.
"My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Peace to the brethren, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."