|photo taken from View World Beauty|
There have been some interesting revelations and a lot of challenges over the past year but we look forward with hope.
Right before coming to Japan I had an opportunity to share about this message of hope with a Japanese man.
God is the God of hope.
Jesus' call to believe in Him instills a new hope in us. This is hope of a new life, hope for a future beyond death even, and for everything we need to accomplish the task He has set for us.
It is the hope for the new world that God will establish in the era to come that we fix our eyes upon. The prize of heaven as the apostle Paul called it.
And it is a prize worth seeking, it is worth the confusion and suffering that we go through. Where God is, there is LIFE and it is never ending.
Jesus came to save souls and give them life eternally. His primary objective was not to die for our sins but to give us life, abundant and everlasting. The cross of Christ and His sacrifice is the great cost. Jesus is excited about you growing in your faith through your trials. He is overjoyed at the idea of being with you in heaven, sharing His gift of everlasting life with you.
Just look what the Word of God says
...Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross...
Back to the story of the Japanese man...
I prayed with this Japanese man who desperately needed hope. He needed a God who is real and who cares. Our meeting was a supernatural event that beckoned me to share my faith and my hope, with this man who prayed a most beautiful prayer:
God help me...
Jesus please come and save a person like me...
To see this man in such desperation of heart to pray without any coaching the simple sinner's prayer brought tears to my eyes.
I told him, "Today is a new day, you are reborn when you repent and turn to Him, the one who can save. Today you encountered the God of Hope"
So it is a new day for Japan and a new day for me. Everyday we need His grace, everyday sinner and saint. Though the Japanese may not bow at the name of Jesus, God is patient and long suffering wanting for many to turn and call upon Him like that man I met did.
We are back to this island because there is work to do and because God has a plan and purpose for many. And that plan is to give them new life and new hope for the age to come. Thank God who works in mysterious ways and redeems all things into His glorious plan. We look forward to many more tales to come from the land of the Rising Son.