Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Living Hope

A Living Hope

There are many things that we complain, debate, march, and even worry and write about, but to what end. Usually, there are others who complain, debate, march, and even worry and write about the opposing view that we hold. To answer the questions of how to sustain life and make it more enjoyable for its participants are the pursuit of many and the topic of most. Knowledge is more accessible, yet many of the same issues still exist that the first humans faced. What is next for our planet and its humanity? Is there life after death? The world has not provided a suitable answer.

The apostle Paul said to the Corinthians, “If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hope only in this life and that is all, then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied. But the fact is that Christ (the Messiah) has been raised from the dead...” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20 Amplified Bible)

Christians suffer along side everyone else. There are no special supermarkets, which I have seen, with deep discounts for Christians only. I am not aware of any major universities who offer free tuition only for confessing Christians. There are no rules, as far as I know, which prohibits Christian men from going to war to fight and die for our country. Christians have marital problems and many are divorcing. Christians have problems with their children. Christians have careers and financial obligations just as others do. Christians struggle too.

Since God has blessed me with His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, I find that I truly worry and wrestle with far fewer things in and around my life. I have more patience and peace. His love, His word, and His Holy Spirit strengthen me. He has shown me through the eyes of faith that this life is not the end. What man can behold now with his natural eye is not his final family portrait of existence. There is a another frame containing a more splendid picture which is more appealing in every way than anything our eyes have ever seen.

The difference in the life of a true Christian from those who are not is that we have a living hope for a brighter future today and on into eternity. Our hope rests in our faith that according to the scriptures, Jesus Christ-God’s beloved, and only begotten Son-died for our sins; was buried in a borrowed new tomb; and was raised from the grave three days later with all power given unto Him in heaven and in earth.

God is worthy to be praised. His loving kindness is incomparable. He is a God of unsearchable depths of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. His works are righteous, powerful, and innumerable, and His ways are mysterious.

God made this world and everything that is within. He knows all about its troubles. (Proverbs 15:3 KJV) He is aware of sin-how it overcame man and sickened his nature. Sin is man’s greatest and gravest sickness. When sin overtook us, we began to cry under the weight of its burden, its bondage. He heard our soul’s despairing cry. God sent his Son, born of a woman…to redeem… (Galatians 4:4-5 NIV)

God wanted Jesus to identify with us so we could trust Him to be faithful and true and be able to gloriously, deliver us. Jesus experienced life in this world as we do now, but without sin. He met sick people. He healed many. He experienced the hurt caused by religious and government corruption and proclaimed to them truth. He confronted people who were dishonest in their dealings with others. He saw poverty and hunger. He was compassionate and fed multitudes. He had opportunities to indulge in pleasure and make a name for Himself. However, He rebuffed Satan’s temptations to engage in sin for a season. He witnessed how death weighed down the human heart with pain, grief, and fear.

Jesus wanted to please His Father in all things even in facing death. He entrusted His life to His Heavenly Father’s care while living in this world with all of its troubles, in dying on the cross, and in being raised from the dead by God’s mighty power.

Let us do likewise. No matter our trials, let us keep our faith in Christ that He will strengthen and cause us to triumph. No matter our pain, let us keep leaning on His soothing, steadfast love. No matter our faults, let us bring them to Him confessing and truly repentant and confident in His mercy and forgiveness. When death knocks on our door, let us hold on to His promises with hope that will not disappoint.

He spoke to Martha and you and I, “I am the resurrection, and the life: He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” (Matthew 11:25-26 KJV) He speaks to our hearts through John also, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelations 1:18 KJV)

It is folly to a fool to believe in the cross and the subsequent empty tomb. Nevertheless, as one who truly believes, I am glad and eternally blessed that He rose. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow; whatever it may bring.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Larry D. Reed, Sr.
I Owe Jesus

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