Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

A Greater Hope

It was the spring of my freshman year in college. The college choir I was part of was on its spring tour and we were standing on a church stage, in a city I’ve long forgotten, singing a song I shall never forget. That song had been sung over and over again as we practiced for the tour and memorized all the music, yet on that day the song went from my head to my heart and it was then and there that I got my first glimpse of Heaven. I vividly remember standing there trembling, unable to sing, and tears running down my cheeks. I’m certain this must have caused those singing around me to wonder about me, but I was ok. Yes, I was ok, I was more than ok. I had just seen Heaven open before me! Now before you begin to wonder about my mental health, let me tell you it was not with the eyes of my head that I saw heaven, it was with the eyes of my heart. Yet, I shall never forget how it thrilled my soul! By now you probably are a little curious about that song. The song’s title was “When He Shall Come” and it was taken from the words of the Apostle John found in Revelation 7:9. John says “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
The words of the song which so rattled my soul were “Oh to be worthy, then to stand beside them, and in that morn to walk with Him in white!” That was the first time I experienced a greater hope and that is what the Apostle John speaks of as he continues in verse 14 and he identifies more clearly who those who are in the white robes. “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Though that was the first time I experienced a greater hope it was certainly not the last. Many times throughout the years as I have experienced trials, tribulations, difficulties, and discouragements, I have been reminded of that greater hope I have, and the words over and over again rattle my soul. “Oh to be worthy then to stand beside them, and in that morn to walk with Him in white!” What greater hope could there be than that? Brothers and sisters, as we look at the direction our culture is going, it is easy to get discouraged isn’t it? As we see circumstances around us not go the way we think they should, it’s easy to get discouraged. As we experience personal trials, tragedies, heartache, and loss, it’s certainly easy to become discouraged, but thank God we have a greater hope.
I’m reminded of an old story which tells of an aged missionary returning home to America on a steamship. As they arrived in port, the missionary saw throngs of people gathered on the dock cheering with loud voices. A band was playing a
celebratory song as people waved banners
emblazoned with the words “Welcome Home”
and for a moment his heart was lifted. But
then he realized the throngs of people and
waving banners weren’t for him, but for Teddy
Roosevelt returning on the very same ship. As
the old missionary left the ship he lifted his anguished heart to God and said: “Lord, I don’t understand. I spent my life serving you in a land far away. I buried my wife and children there, and now I return home alone and no band plays for me. No crowd has gathered to welcome me.” It was then that God said to him, “Don’t grieve weary pilgrim. You’re not home yet.”
No, I shall never forget that day when I looked into heaven’s glories for the first time and I first realized that greater hope. And what greater hope could there be than this? “Oh to be worthy, then to stand beside them, and in that morn, to walk with Him in white!”

Kim Beckwith

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