I know I’m not alone when I say that it seems like winter will never end!  I don’t ever remember a year in my life where the ground has been in a constant state of snow cover for the whole winter.  I certainly don’t remember coming up on my birthday and the temperature outside is still in the single digits.  It has been a hard winter, to say the least.  But as is the case at this time each year for us Michiganders, there is hope.  And this hope usually rests in one of two things.  First, warmer temperatures are on the way.   The second, and most common reason…Florida! 

I freely admit that I fall in the second crowd.  I love going to Florida in the spring.  More specifically, I love going to Disney World!  Once again, that is where my hope lies this year.  In a couple months, Erin and I—with Grayson in tow—are heading to Florida.  We will spend a few days with my grandparents near New Port Richey.  Then we’ll head down to Clearwater to spend a few days with some good family friends—golf included.  Then we will make our way over to the happiest place on earth for a few days. 

It is something I get so excited about and look forward to each year.  I place my hope in it because, let’s face it, Michigan in late February/early March is down right depressing and tough.  The more I look outside, the more I’m ready for this to be over and ready to “get out of here”.  Can I get an AMEN?

Well, this year God has used my wife to help me see the truth and the error of placing my hope and trust in our Florida vacation—in warm weather, in flip-flops and shorts, and in a mouse.  The sad reality is that our Florida vacation will only last a week and a half.  After that, Lord willing, we will enter warmer temps of spring and summer in Michigan.  But in just a few months after that the temperatures will begin to drop; and once again we will be in winter.  “Wait!  Winter will be here again in less than 8 months???  NO!!!!” 

Well, here’s the truth: true hope cannot rest in any person, place, or thing on this earth.  The reality is that everything on this earth will come and go.  Things will let us down and disappoint us.  People will let us down and disappoint us.  Places will let us down and disappoint us.  Have you ever read the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes?  Eleven of the twelve chapters of the book communicate that very truth.  Nothing will last…generations will come and go…“everything under the sun is meaningless!”

There is one thing that we can and should put our hope in—ONE thing: the hope of eternal life that comes from our salvation through Jesus Christ.

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
– Titus 3:4-7 (ESV)

Through faith and trust in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, we are promised eternal life!  There will be no more death, no more pain, no more suffering, and no more trials.  There will be no more wickedness and no more hatred.  There will be no more effects of sin in the world around us and no more temptation to sin.  We will spend all of eternity with God in the perfection of heaven.

Warm temperatures can’t give us that.  Flip-flops and shorts can’t give us that.  Not even Disney can give us that!  Salvation through Jesus is the only thing that can give us that.  And we will be able to experience it, not just for a season, but forever!

Let’s put our trust in our Savior, Jesus Christ and place our hope in the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven.  If we do, we will be able to have true joy in both the good times and the bad of this life.

– PB