How to Have Hope Despite the Messiness of the Church

How to have hope despite the messiness of the church

David Larry Kim     |     APRIL 11, 2019     |    2 MIN READ     |    3 MIN WATCH

Note from SOLA: This video was recorded during The SOLA Conference 2019. Below is a transcript of the video. It has been lightly edited for readability.

I remember hearing from a couple who were sharing their story of how they got together. He was a great guy, and she was a great girl. But for whatever reason, she was hesitant to pull the trigger on getting married.

She had had some challenges. She had had some bad relationships and was struggling with trust issues, not because of anything he had done, but because of things she had experienced in the past. For some reason, she couldn't get over that hump.

She said, “I don't know why I can't fully put my trust in the heart of a man.” He looked at her and said, “I know you can't trust me, but I am asking that you trust the Jesus in me.” That really gave her that sense of comfort and confidence.

When it comes to the messiness of the church, in a lot of ways, it's the same thing. We may not be able to trust what we see in the church right now, but we can trust the Jesus whose promise backs the reality that the church is the hope of the world.

And whatever the world can do to bring hurt and harm in our lives, the capacity of the church to heal is infinitely greater.

It's easy for us to see what we see in the church now, but I take comfort in knowing that the promise of Jesus from the very beginning was that the church would be the hope of the world. You see that in Jesus when he establishes the church and he says to Peter — who he knew was going to fall, was going to deny him, and was going to mess up — upon you, your confession, the people who make this confession, I'm going to build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. I take comfort in that.

I also take comfort in knowing that the Great Commission that Jesus gave to his church planting disciples was given to people — who had seen Jesus after the Resurrection — some of them who worshiped but then also to others who still doubted. That group included people who doubted after they had seen the Risen Jesus, and yet Jesus said this is going to be the channel through which the kingdom of God comes — it’s through the church.

We look at 2000 years of church history. Jesus is not surprised by the messiness of the church. And yet his promise remains that, “I gave my life for this church, I gave my life for this bride. and I’m not going to give up on it.”

There’s messiness in the church for sure because we're living on this side of Eternity. But on this side of the Cross, we see that Jesus has not given up on the church. He hasn't; he won't ever. Because of that we can hope even in the midst of the messiness.

Pastor DL is the Lead Pastor of Harvest Korean Presbyterian Church of Orlando. He oversees the congregation through preaching, teaching, counseling and leadership. He is happily married to Olivia and is the proud father of Emmanuelle ("Manny"), Elijah and Elyse. He is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary and the University of Virginia. He loves missions and enjoys playing and watching sports.