When Jesus spoke of this to the thief, he is referring to the same promise God gave to Abraham (Genesis 22:17-18) Not the kind of paradise that is found on earth but is found in heaven. His Words are hope for all of us sinners. Showing how merciful our God is in this specific event in the Bible is a reminder that despite our grievous sins, we only need to have a repentant heart to receive hope (believe the words of Jesus) and the promise of salvation. The good thief believed so he immediately received his reward. This is a picture of encouragement to all of us, a promise of Paradise.
God was angry when people did bad things and He wanted to punish them. However, Uncle Noah was a good man who listened to God, and God protected Uncle Noah by asking him to build a big boat to keep him, his family and some animals safe. God set a rainbow in the sky after the flood, promising Uncle Noah that He would never flood the earth again.
God gave us a sign through the parable of the fig tree. When the twigs get tender and its leaves appear, we know that summer is near. When we see revival in Israel, we know the day when the Lord is coming for us is near. This promise gives us great hope and endurance, knowing that all these will come to pass. Heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will never pass away – His promises never fail.
I chose the story of the shepherds receiving the news about the birth of Jesus as it brought hope not only to them but also to all of creation. The angel’s announcement certainly got the attention of the shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. But it was something else that sent them hurrying toward a manger in Bethlehem. It was HOPE. After hearing the good news, they spread the word concerning what had been told to them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed. After the shepherds witnessed the birth of Jesus, they returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Their lives were changed. Similarly, we have hope of a renewed relationship with God and a hope of eternal life through Jesus’ birth.