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hope

By Niki Behrikis Shanahan

 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

 

The definition of hope is to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect with confidence, and to trust.  Today more than ever before we need to have hope in our future life in Heaven with our beloved animal companions.  God's word tells us that the animals go to Heaven with Him when they leave this earth.  We hope in this promise with confidence as we expect to see them in Heaven waiting for us, and we are trusting in God to do what He said He would do.

I know from personal experience through the loss of my boys what agony it is to be separated from them.  I understand what you are going through, and what you have gone through in the past because I've been there.  It's been three times for me and it's three times too many.  It's hard to find anything that will console you when your loved one passes.  But there's a hope so great that even the devil can't take it away from us.  It’s the hope we have in seeing our animal companions again, and having the joy and privilege of being a family with them all over again in Heaven.  This time, though, it's for good.  This time it's everlasting and it never ends. 

I have lost my little sons, Pete, Lukie and Joey, but they are still alive.  They are alive in Heaven waiting for me.  Your sons are alive and waiting for you in Heaven.  Your daughters are alive and waiting for you in Heaven.  It doesn't matter what anyone says or thinks.  All we care about is what God says and He says they have souls, He says they have spirits, He says these creatures anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ, and He says God preserves man and animals.  We have hope and we have faith in what God said.  He said He would send a savior, and He did send Jesus Christ our savior.  It's through His death and resurrection that we are all able to have this future life together. 

Here's Romans 8:18-24 from The Living Bible

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. 19 For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day[a] when God will resurrect his children. 20-21 For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay[b]—the things that overcame the world against its will at God’s command—will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God’s children enjoy.

22 For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event.[c] 23 And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us—bodies that will never be sick again and will never die.

24 We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don’t yet have—for a man who already has something doesn’t need to hope and trust that he will get it.

Online link to the above Scriptures:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans+8%3A18-24&version=TLB

I'd like to share this excerpt from There Is Eternal Life For Animals which I hope you have all had a chance to read.  I think it will give your hope and faith a real boost and encourage you.

Summary of Romans 8:18-24:  The believers, the animals, and all of creation shall be delivered from the condition of corruption.  They will be redeemed and given new bodies and eternal life.  When you think about it logically, what would they (the creatures) “expect” or what would they “wait” for if they ceased to exist?  You can’t wait for incorruption if you’re dead and cease to exist.

Here are some quotes regarding Romans 8:18-23 from E. D. Buckner, M.D., who wrote the book The Immortality of Animals in 1903:

“St. Paul gives us to understand that this suffering of animals shall not be hopeless, but that they shall be delivered together with man from the bondage of corruption.  By the word creature is understood all living beings except man.  He is not here implied, as St. Paul kept men separate in order to make his argument clear.  We hope the day is not far distant when theology will become more Christ like, and include under the atonement the whole creation that groaneth and travaileth in pain and sorrow.”

In summary, I hope that all of you who are discouraged, and particularly those who have just experienced a great loss, will be encouraged by the promise of God to give us eternal life and to give the animals eternal life.  It's a transition period and a painful one, but there will be great joy for us all in Heaven someday.

 

In the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.

Titus 1:2

 

Copyright 2015 Niki Behrikis Shanahan

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