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I remember when I was eight years old; my father told us that we were going to Lake Welch. The lake was crystal clear with beautiful tan sand. The soft breeze would come over the lake and cool the beach areas. That night I could barely sleep because of the anticipation of the trip. Every hour I would wake up and go back to sleep. Finally the hour came – 6:00 a.m. I would jump out of bed, fly into my beach clothes, grab my towel, sand pail and bucket, help load the coolers, and race to the car. Finally we made it to the beach. First order of business was making sand castles. Second order of business was making a moat for the sand castles. Then finally we would allow the rising waves to wash away the sand castles.

We would then play in the lake until our skin became like a prune. Then we would begin the process again of making sand castles. On our way home, we would sleep like a baby anticipating the day when we would again come to lake Welch. Today there are many who also wait with anticipation. As Christians we wait for the day when our earth will be restored. We wait for the day, when Jesus will come through the clouds and take us into the heavenly kingdom. We don’t know when it will happen, only that the day will come. Anticipation. As Christians, we can’t lose hope in the promises of God. Even though it might seem that there is a delay. God has given us His word.

I would remember the days when dad would let us know on a Saturday night that the trip was cancelled. He would tell us that another day would come. I was heartbroken. I was devastated. I was shattered. I would look out the window at the sunset with tears rolling down my face. I would be thinking of the beach, the sandcastles, and the crystal clear waters. But then mourning would turn to joy. I would remember my dad’s words to us “we will go another day.” My heart would change. My broken spirit would begin to fill with hope. Again I would wait with anticipation.

Today, we have many who have lost hope. They forget the words of our God, our Father, our Dad who always keeps His promises. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:3-9

How is your faith? Do you still have that anticipation? Do you look forward to that day when God will come to gather us home and take us to swim by the river of life? Or are you like those described by Peter who declares “Where is the promise of his coming”? We worship a God who keeps His word. We worship a Savior who has our best interest at heart. We can’t give up just because it appears that we have a long delay, we need to hold on to the hand of Christ by faith. The Bible is clear. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Isaiah 65:17

When you begin to lose hope, remember these words from the lips of Jesus. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3

Here are some additional words of encouragement. “The Lord is soon to come, and we must be prepared to meet Him in peace. Let us be determined to do all in our power to impart light to those around us. We are not to be sad, but cheerful, and we are to keep the Lord Jesus ever before us. He is soon coming, and we must be ready and waiting for His appearing. Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim. If we can but see the King in His beauty we shall be forever blessed. I feel as if I must cry aloud: ‘Homeward bound!’ We are nearing the time when Christ will come in power and great glory to take His ransomed ones to their eternal home.” Councils for the Church p. 356

May the Lord bless you this Sabbath as we look forward to His coming with anticipation

Angel J. Rodriguez, D.Min
Houston Central – Senior Pastor

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