Monday, August 15, 2016

Where There Is Life...

The saying says, "Where there is life there is hope." I suppose that this means to suggest that any circumstance short of death contains the hope that things might get better.

As a statement of an optimistic outlook, it leaves much to be desired. Over a million Americans attempt suicide every year and over 40,000 of them succeed. Maybe someone had hope for them while they were alive, but their own hope collapsed under the weight of cynicism and despair.

Perhaps the saying would be more accurate if it was turned around. "Where there is hope there is life." People need hope to live.

They hope that things will get better. They hope they will discover existential purpose and find meaning. They hope that the bad guys will be brought to justice and the good guys will be rewarded. They hope they will find true love and friendship. They hope they will escape debilitating disease and ultimate death.

As long as they have hope, they keep plugging along. But when everything crashes in on them, they begin to lose hope and the resilience they needed to go on.

This is why the gospel of Jesus Christ is such an important message.  This good news says that Jesus conquered sin and death.  By his resurrection from the dead we have "a living hope" (1 Peter 1:3). While there are frustrations and difficulties now, our future in Christ is salvation in a perfect world. Life has meaning because there is a personal Creator who brought us into existence on purpose. God has in Christ provided for both justice and mercy.

Hope is what people need and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the best source of hope.

(1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV) Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

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