In recent days, I have read posts and blogs warning of the coming of Christ. Statements like, ‘we are living in the last days’ have been made from the pulpits of our churches. Signs have been made reading of the end times and last days. I have heard comments that America has gone to hell and there is no more hope for our country. I agree, that these last few weeks have shed light on the current condition of America’s spiritual condition, but I must disagree with there being no hope! From the fall of man in the garden of Eden, things have been getting worse. The most perfect days ever in the history of man was walking with God in the cool of the day. As believers, we have days that are wonderful in our relationship with Christ. Those moments where we feel the presence of God in our prayer closet or times when we hear a song that brings tears of joy to our eyes. But along with those good days we have bad days. It is a constant struggle and a battle to walk in the cool of the day, but some days we just stand in the cool of the day. There are days when we sit in the cool of the day. Can I be honest? I have days when I’m not near the coolness! It is in those times we must remind ourselves of the hope for the future not just hope in this life. There is hope and there has always been hope!
Paul writes to the Corinthians…
1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
The Corinthian Church had an issue with the resurrection. Paul wanted to remind them there was no hope without the resurrection. It is easy to become so cumbered down with the issues of this life to lose our outward look. In verse 18, Paul points out that without the resurrection those asleep in Christ had perished. These Corinthian believers only had hope in the current life. How many of us believers are this way? Take a moment and think of this life. It is easy to be discouraged. We see current events of wars and destruction, failed economic plans, distrust in the government, attack on our religious beliefs. in our own lives we face ups and downs. If we are not careful, we can develop an attitude similar to the Corinthians. It is easy to be hopeful in this life when things are going good, but when things get hard or discouraging we tend to look no further than the grave. We can be so burdened down we lose focus of what the resurrection of Christ means. There is coming a day, when we shall see that blessed hope. In times of despair and troubles, we must remember, that our hope in Christ is a complete hope. The hope that Christ offers does not run out when discouragement arises. It takes us beyond what we currently face and leads us to where we are going. It comforts the bride and groom on there wedding day, carries them through the sickness and health, through richer and poorer, and comforts them when death causes separation. We can find hope in Christ while we live this life, but it is pointless to hold to that hope if there is nothing more to come. We, as believers, are looking for the ‘blessed hope’, that Paul speaks of in Titus 2:13. The complete hope, the perfect hope we have, is our resurrection. Our resurrection is the complete story, it is the hope! It goes beyond believing that Christ was resurrected, but understanding what Christ did for us in his resurrection.
When Adam sinned, death passed upon on all men and with the resurrection of Christ the resurrection of the dead passed to all believers. That’s the hope! Knowing there will be a day when the tears are wiped away from our eyes. A day when the tense shoulders and backs will relax. A day when we will face death and pain no more. This is the hope! Hope in knowing that death is not the end. When believers keep looking to that hope, the complete hope, the blessed hope, we can be encouraged! This is what the world needs. This is the hope we must share.