Hope Lives Till We Have Faces -- By: Jason G. Duesing
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Hope Lives Till We Have Faces
Editor, Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Kansas City, Missouri
Sixty years ago C. S. Lewis published his last work of fiction—one that he considered “far and away the best that I have written.”1 Till We Have Faces is Lewis’ retelling of the ancient myth of Cupid and Psyche, though with his own spin. He tells the story from the perspective of Psyche’s older sister Orual, who has grown jealous of her sister, as Psyche was taken away by the gods and received blessing and benefit from them. Yet, when Orual attempts to see the gods or the palace where Psyche lives, she can’t, and this sets her on a long term struggle against the gods. Lewis is using Orual as a picture of the struggling unbeliever who cannot believe in that which is invisible. Near the end of the story she comes to see that she cannot see the gods until she believes. For, as she says, “How can [the gods] meet us face to face till we have faces?”
Belief, trust, and even hope in the unseen is at the core of the Christian life, as Hebrews 11:1 reminds us, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” And
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1 Corinthians 13:12 adds, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” We see in part now but won’t see fully till we have faces. Until that time, as the Apostle Peter reminds, we have been given a living hope to sustain us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3).
Writing at the end of his life to “cheer and strengthen” Christians undergoing trials, Peter begins his first letter reminding them that they have a living hope in a God who, in his mercy, has saved them and will strengthen and sustain them to the end, no matter what may come.2 And this is our reminder as well. In days of financial uncertainty, political turmoil...
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