There Is Always Hope
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
Traveling recently with my family, we experienced a three-hour delay of our flight. We’d already arrived at the airport early, which meant we then had four or five hours to just sit there. I’m impatient like a child and so, at the time, those hours seemed like an eternity. Looking back now, weeks later, it was nothing – just a blip in my day. At the time though, it took forever.
I don’t mean to minimize anyone’s difficulties, but, if Christianity is to be believed, we will all someday look back – if we look back at all – at our trials on Earth as somewhat insignificant in the grand scheme of things. In today’s passage, Paul taught that one day, our weak, decaying bodies will be traded in for perfect spiritual bodies. When this happens, sin, death, and pain will come to an end. The time we spent toiling this life will be just a blip in comparison with an eternity of peace and joy.
This promise for the future doesn’t necessarily lessen our suffering right now though. I’m always hesitant to write of life’s trials because I know what some of you are going through: divorce, children struggling, a loved one’s addiction, cancer, and crippling depression. I know you want a guarantee that everything is going to be fine in this life. We aren’t promised that. Not everyone gets a happy ending. Today’s passage in fact, reinforces that this life will eventually end for everyone in weakness, decay, and death.
The promise of God though, is that no matter what, there is always hope for the future. One day death will die and pain will end. This takes tremendous faith to accept however. It’s not natural to be motivated by what we cannot see and have never experienced. That’s the nature of faith. Daily – sometimes a hundred times a day – we may need to repeat Paul’s words to ourselves. When we choose to believe, we can have hope that one day we will be set free for an eternity. Today’s passage isn’t meant to make us seek death, but rather to learn to live by faith and hope, here and now. No matter how difficult things are, there is always hope for a blessed future which will make these present trials seem like a blip of the past.