There seems to be so many people going through so much right now. These people consist of my own church members, friends of mine, and many people around our community. These people have suffered losses that i can not even imagine suffering.
I spent some time at the hospital visiting with some of these families and i was struck with this simple question. Without Christ, is there hope? There are so many Christians that lose their hope because of the circumstances in their lives. Do we have a hope that goes beyond everything we face?
Many of us have said and proclaimed the words of the famous hymn Because He Lives i can face tomorrow. The question is do we believe and live these words of this song? Do we believe that because Christ is no longer in the grave that we no longer have to fear, that we can face tomorrow, and that he truly holds the future? We often times proclaim that God does hold the future, but that does not always mean we are happy with the future that he holds.
I am often times called upon to point towards hope in the midst of situations that are unimaginable mere hours before. There are many things in this world that have the potential of destroying our hope and faith if we allow them to. How do you maintain hope during the loss of a loved one? How do we maintain hope in the midst of the constant assault on the Christian faith?
The apostle Paul was going through a lot in his life. He was stoned, persecuted, run out of town,his friends left him behind, he was beaten with rods and thrown in prison. Through all that he faced he had one hope that got him through and that hope was eternal life with Christ. Paul said that all the sufferings that he faced were nothing compared to knowing Christ his lord. Have we focused our lives on Christ to this degree? Are we willing to say, as Paul did, to live is Christ and to die is gain?
Because Jesus lives, we have a hope that goes even beyond the grave. This eternal life was given to us because Jesus Christ lives and has conquered the grave. When he died and rose he removed the separation that all of us had from God. Because he lives we have been given a relationship with God through his death, burial, and resurrection. Because he lives we know who holds the future. We no longer have to fear because our future is secure in heaven. There will be times when the circumstances we are going through feel like they will last forever. We must remember that these things are temporary and Christ is eternal. Does this mean that things will always be easy? Does this mean we will always understand? Because he lives we have a hope that lasts for an eternity.