Against hope, Abraham believed. We rejoice in hope. We also rejoice in our sufferings because suffering produces perseverance and perseverance produces character. When we allow character to be produced in our lives (rather than just lying down and having a pity party), that produces hope. When we allow character to be produced in our lives we are able to see the hope in our situation. Hope doesn’t disappoint us because we are able to see what God has ultimately done for us.
At just the right time…before the beginning of time, it was planned that Jesus would come to Earth in the form of a baby, live a sinless life, die on a cross and rise from death. Romans 5:6 tells us that AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. This is packed full of good news. First of all, Jesus died for those who didn’t deserve it (us!). Secondly, he did so at just the right time.
We can have hope in whatever circumstances we face because Jesus came to make us reconciled with God, and his timing is perfect. He is never late. He is never early. He is always on time. We can trust his timing.
I don’t say this lightly. There are serious, time sensitive issues. And I’m not sitting in my mansion with everything perfect in my life as I type out the perfection in God’s timing. My husband, me, and our little family have moved in with my parents for the second time in a year and a half. We have less than a week to move out of where we were staying with friends and there is a snowstorm preventing travel. As I was washing dishes this morning, and after days of begging God to speak to me, I heard him say “At just the right time…” and I remembered the passage as Romans 5, one of my favorites. If he can part the river as the Israelites needed to cross and the priests stepped into the water in faith, if he can make manna fall from the sky each day at just the right time, if he can appear in a furnace and keep three Jewish boys from burning up and not even smelling like smoke, if he can preserve Daniel over night in a lions’ den without a scratch, if a young boy can kill a giant with a sling shot and a small rock, if he can bring me from North Carolina and my husband from Oklahoma and arrange for us to meet at just the right time, he can take care of what is needed today. Hope comes when you realize that he is able and that he is willing. Hope comes when you focus on who Jesus is rather than what things look like. Hope comes when you celebrate the kindness, faithfulness, and goodness of God and trust him to do it again. In this season of Advent, I remember that Jesus is Emanuel, God with us. He took on flesh and became one of us and is well acquainted with our grief.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
At just the right time, he came. And in your situation, at just the right time, he will do it again.