Our Blessed Hope
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13
I spend so much of my life regretting the past. “If only I had or had not done__________” [fill in the blank]. When I’m not doing that, I worry about the future. “What’s going to happen? What if __________?” [fill in the blank].
But God doesn’t want us to regret or worry. God has promised that He will use whatever has happened or will happen for our eternal good (Romans 8:28).
Paul exhorted Titus to live in the present by waiting for “our blessed hope”: the appearing in glory (future) of our God and Savior, who gave himself to die on the cross (past).
If we must look at the past—we should look at the cross, the first appearing of Jesus. In Titus 2:11-13, “appeared” and “appearing” are English versions of the Greek word epiphaneia “appearing or brightness.” The Greeks often used epiphaneia to describe a glorious manifestation of the gods, an advent, a momentous arrival of the god’s presence and power to help. From this word we get Epiphany, the celebration of the coming of the Magi who sought the god whose birth a star announced.
When we look back at what Jesus has done for us in coming to die for our sins, our own past sins lose their power over us. His sacrifice removed the burden of our sins and erased the debt that we owed. We have received forgiveness. David said, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
If we must look at what’s going to happen tomorrow, we should look forward to the second appearing of Jesus. Paul defines our blessed hope as “the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Our hope does not lie in trying to forget about past suffering or in avoiding present suffering. Our hope lies in the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ.
Read Philippians 3:3-9. Looking at your life, what things do you consider worth bragging about? After listing his greatest achievements, what does Paul say about them? What did he glory in?
According to Titus 2:12-14, how should we be living after we receive grace and salvation?
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. What was Paul’s encouragement to the Thessalonians?
Nancy J. Baker