As adults we can easily become cynical, inured to life’s vicissitudes and bereft of optimism and positive expectation. We call it being ‘world weary’, beaten down by disappointment until pessimism and a lack of positive expectation become our defence against dashed hopes.

Part of the reason for this is connected to the repetition and monotony of everyday life. We no longer marvel at sunrises or sunsets because we’ve seen it all before. Familiarity has bred contempt in us; we’ve lost the child’s sense of wonder and awe. There is a sense of ‘same old, same old’ about everything we see. We’ve forgotten how to be grateful and thankful for the little things.

As we are told things will change and find they don’t, as we live through political hype and find it sadly lacking in substance, we lose the ability to hope. This is dangerous for our souls, for hopelessness, despair, are tools of the enemy designed to destroy faith, which by definition involves holding on to the invisible until it becomes visible (see Romans 4).

God wants us to be hopeful (and hope-full) people, for the truth does not change just because of a refusal to believe it! In Luke 17:26-37, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the return of the Son of Man in glory and judgment, of the end times The remarkable thing about this is that people will be living in complete ignorance of and indifference to this earth-shattering event.

Jesus reminded his disciples that it was ever thus. In the days of Noah, everything carried on as normal (‘same old’) until the flood came in destructive force. (Luke 17:26-27) The same thing happened in the days of Lot, (Luke 17:28-29) Jesus’s message was always that we should be prepared for His return, a message constantly underlined in His parables (e.g. Matt 25:1-13) and in other parts of the New Testament (e.g. 1 Thess 5:1-11).

We are to live in constant expecation and anticipation of His return, not adopting the ‘same old’ mentality of the world. Faith takes the long view and also aligns itself with God’s promises rather than what we can see with our natural eyes. Jesus is coming again for His people and we need to be ready.