Hope: God Prepared an Entire Kingdom for You

St. John Chrysostom (d. 407AD) writes:

“…Yet with God, who manages our affairs with great wisdom, once he promises – no matter if countless obstacles interpose – we should have regard for the greatness of God’s power and keep our spirits up, our resolve strengthened, and know that the words spoken by him will without fail take effect. There is nothing, you see, which will ever succeed in frustrating his promises – he is God, after all, with whom all things are possible, and hence he directs affairs in the direction he wishes, being able to find ways where there are none and, despite our despairing, leading us to sound hopes so that in this way we may learn the extraordinary degree of his inventive wisdom.  […]

Let us also imitate and trust in God’s promises, not allowing time to undermine our resolve, nor any obstacles to intervene in the meantime to weaken our determination. Trusting instead in God’s power as if we already had before our eyes the revelation of the promises, let us give evidence of unalloyed faith. Extraordinarily great, you see, are the promises the Lord has made to us, too, surpassing our imagination- I mean enjoyment of the kingdom, a share in those ineffable goods, life with angels, escape from hell. On the other hand, let us never lose confidence because these things are not visible to bodily eyes; rather, let us consider the fidelity of the one promising and the greatness of his power, and thus view them with the eyes of faith and on the basis of what has already been given let us maintain sound hope in what is to come.

The reason, after all, that we have been blessed with many favors here is that we may be encouraged by the former to have confidence in the latter. He who gave his own son but handed him over for us all, how will he not grant us everything else as well along with him? If he gave his son for us sinners, if he favored us with the gift of baptism, if he granted us forgiveness of previous sins, if he laid down for us a way of penance, if he devised countless other means to our salvation, clearly he will provide the good things stored up for us in the time to come. After all, he who prepared these things before our coming into existence out of his characteristic  goodness, how will he not grant us also enjoyment of them? I mean, for proof that he did prepare these good things for us in advance, listen to his words to those standing on his right: ‘Come, you who enjoy my Father’s blessing, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you before the beginning of the world.’ Do you see the excess of goodness, the great degree of loving kindness he displays towards the human race in preparing for us enjoyment of the kingdom even before the beginning of the world?” (Homilies on Genesis 18-45, pp 296, 298-299)