How Jesus’ Powerful Personal Hope Can Lift You Up

The geography of the Ark of the Covenant mirrors Jesus' Ascension—and ours.

Do you know what one, primary, personal hope drove Jesus’ life? What He looked forward to the most? It’s important we do know, because the same hope should drive our lives.

How Jesus’ Powerful Personal Hope Can Lift You Up

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

As I have read the gospels, one reality has jumped out at me stronger than ever. Jesus’ goal was not merely the cross. Even as great as the resurrection was, Jesus still had another hope beyond that.

It’s good news you can apply by the end of this blog post—and then for the rest of your life.

David and the Ark

When David brought the Ark of the Covenant up from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem, he likely penned Psalm 68 and opened with the words Moses said whenever the Ark set out on its wilderness journeys (Ps. 68:1; Num. 10:35). But David understood that the Ark coming to rest in Jerusalem marked an ascension that began way before Kiriath Jearim. 

It started all the way back at Mount Sinai (Ps. 68:7–8; 16-18). David wrote:

You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men. — Ps. 68:18

Man Up! (How the Ascension can Lift Your Spirit)

The apostle Paul grabbed the truth of Psalm 68 and understood God’s “ascension” to Jerusalem (in the Ark) ultimately as fulfilled in a greater ascension—that of Jesus (Ephesians 4:7–10). Under the inspiration of the Spirit, Paul likens the ark’s “ascension” from the Exodus to Jerusalem to Jesus’ Ascension from earth to heaven.

Cool. But so what?

Here we see the one, primary, personal hope that drove Jesus’ life: His Ascension to the Father on the Mount of Olives.

How the Ascension can Lift Your Spirit

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Surveying the gospels, it’s plain to see how the Ascension held a significant place in Jesus’ personal expectations and longings (see Luke 9:31, 51; John 6:61-62; 7:33; 14:1-3; 16:5, 10, 16–17, 28; 17:13).

The author of the book of Hebrews affirms that Jesus:

Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. —Heb. 12:2

Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before Him—the Ascension. But Jesus isn’t merely sitting at the right hand of the Father and sipping tea while He waits for the Rapture. Jesus continues His ministry of intercession for believers—a ministry He had while on earth.

In fact, there are at least five benefits we enjoy as a result of the Ascension of Jesus and His present intercession.

Your Future is Looking Up

Just as Jesus’ resurrection foreshadows your own resurrection, so Jesus’ Ascension looks forward to your own ascension—at the Rapture. Jesus revealed this truth to the disciples in the Upper Room before He died, and Paul developed it later into a full-on doctrine, our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13; 1 Thess. 4:18ff).

What is the one, primary, personal hope in your life?

Just as it was Jesus’ hope and driving passion to endure His cross because of what followed, so we also can endure ours. Why? Because our resurrection and ascension are coming.

In fact, they could occur at any moment.

Question: What is the one, primary, personal hope in your life? To leave a comment, just click here.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts. Just keep it kind and relevant. Thanks!

  • GALAXYKID MAX

    My Ultimate goal is to be in the place in Heaven…..you know….where Jesus lives? 100% freedom to go anywhere, a stone’s throw away from Christ…unbridled happiness, joy, peace, adventures waiting to be had, discoveries to be discovered, questions to be answered and an eternal God to know! We’ll NEVER be bored or unhappy! Never cry…..never suffer….never sin again. I look forward to that…..but I worry about having NEVER heard God speak to me before. I mean….I know without a shadow of doubt that God exists. But I haven’t heard from him for myself….no directives….so that had me a bit concerned. But I’ll keep doing whatever I can in the mean time.

    • The hope you have is a wonderful one, and it certainly will occur. As far as hearing from God, I have good news: you have heard from Him. Not audibly, of course, but just as powerfully and truthfully in the Scriptures. We don’t need any more divine revelation beyond the Word of God. All we need is right there. Just read the Word; it is God’s words to you personally.

      • GALAXYKID MAX

        Thank you so much for your help Mr. Stiles. Who would have thought my fellowship could happen from overseas…..nevertheless….I don’t like speaking in dismissive terms…
        As far as the hope for the rapture goes…that’s my driving force. It’s part of what keeps me going. This world is SEVERELY EVIL in more ways than one and getting even worse. In fact, my girlfriend and I BOTH came to the solid conclusion that we need to pray as though we’re talking to God. Like he’s standing before us. Ever since we’ve gotten even more serious about the second coming of the Lord, temptations surely stepped up their game. It’s apparent SOMEBODY doesn’t want us to be raptured…. but regardless…..we keep praying as much as we can…..I don’t like slipping up because I do not want to miss out on my calling ..

  • Stephen White

    I don’t know if my last post got saved or went into never, never land, but I will try again.

    Dear Wayne,
    First of I want to thank you for your daily devotionals and insights you see in your personal spiritual journey. I just wanted to let you know that this really helps us begin our spiritual daily journeys.

    Back to the question, for me personally I remember something Tommy Nelson said one day that at the time I thought was really strange, but now I totally understand. He said that he couldn’t wait for it’s his time to leave earth. So that he could live in eternal bliss with his Father and walk in the streets of gold, never hunger, thirst, or feel pain again. But just eternal bliss.
    Now I understand and that’s what I want and am not afraid of death any longer. I want that joy and peace in God’s will.

    Wayne if if I am misinterpreting anything please correct me.

    Thanks again for your dedication and time.

    • Stephen, you’re right on the money. This was Jesus’ hope, and it should be ours as well. What a magnificent teacher Tommy is. So many of us are the beneficiaries of his gift. Thank you for your gracious words. It is an honor.

      • Stephen White

        And so are you Wayne, I missed you so much when you left our church to continue God’s Will. But you made me feel welcome in the House of the Lord the first time I entered DCC.

        Thank God , for the technology we have today for the good things so we can keep in touch.

        Thanks again for your commitment. And tell your family hello.

        • That’s gracious of you, Stephen. I did not leave— but was asked to leave. Nonetheless, God has had His hand upon our lives. Thanks.

  • Jeanelle Sims

    My hope is a living hope. As I think about the word hope and what it means to me,it is the certainly of knowing that God’s word is true, His plan for our lives will be completed.
    The best is yet to be whenever. Thank you Father for the certainty of the hope you have put in my heart. Amen

    • I love that definition of hope, Jeanelle. CERTAINTY. Amen.

  • ARM BAR

    I’m a sinner and not a good christian yet my personal hope is to be with God in Jesus name,nobody living today can imagine how great the surprise and happiness when someone meet Jesus face to face and up close,but we are as a christian must focus only on Jesus in our personal life while we are still living here on earth,and for me i have another hope and that’s something good that i can do to God and not to embarrass Him,that’s what i have been asking Him for so many years,and i’m still waiting for my prayer to be answered .

    • His grace is larger than our greatest failures, and the greater our failure becomes evident to us—the greater His grace becomes evident. Even Paul called himself, “the chief of sinners.”

  • Michelle thick

    To make my father happy and be with him in heaven.

    • That was Jesus’ hope too, Michelle. You’re in great company.