Grace For The Journey
There is a myriad of bad news all around us. One cannot turn on the television, listen to the radio, or search the internet without constantly being bombarded with news stories or opinions that are filled with bad news and even more bad news. It seems that all the top news stories are on the disasters, deaths, deceptions, and disadvantages that people encounter in daily life. Only when I turn a particular Christian radio station or internet site, am I reassured that I will hear “positive and encouraging” programming! It is a reminder of the helpfulness and helplessness that comes from a world filled with sin and rebellion against God.
Yet, the believer is has hope, even in the face of hopelessness.
Because our hope is not in one who rose from depression,
Disease, disadvantage, or even despair;
Our hope is in the One who rose from the dead!
Is there anything more hopeless than death? I can’t think of anything more devastating than . . .
- The death of our comfort.
- The death of our desires.
- The death of our plans.
- The death of our promises.
- The death of our career.
- The death of our dreams.
Yet, even when we seem to be facing the death of the life we hoped to be living, we can still have a joyful, expectant hope, because the One we hope in rose from the dead!
And just as Jesus rose from the dead and lives forevermore, all those who have placed their trust in His atoning work on their behalf shall rise from all the death they have experienced in their lives.
- Through Jesus our comfort can rise from the dead.
- Through Jesus our dreams can rise from the dead.
- Through Jesus our plans can rise from the dead.
- Through Jesus, our promises canl rise from the dead.
- Through Jesus, our career can rise from the dead.
- Through Jesus, our dreams shall rise from the dead.
And as good as all that is, there is something even better . . .
We shall rise bodily from the dead on that great day
When Jesus returns to finish what He started.
The Bible records in John 11:25-26, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’”
Our hope for resurrection and eternal life is found in a wonderful Person – Jesus Christ.
Over the next two days, we will look at John 11:25-26 and see how Jesus’ resurrection is to be the substance of our own hope in everyday life – and of the truth of Jesus’ words to His followers; “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).
There are certain truths
God presents to us
In the Bible that are central.
They are so crucial,
That every aspect of
Our spiritual well-being
Depends on our believing them.
Someone has called them “trickle-down truths.” Our orientation toward them will trickle down to every other area of life. The Bible’s teaching about the hope of the resurrection is one of those “trickle-down” truths. Everything else in our life will depend on how we are oriented to the hope of the resurrection.
If it is true that we who are in Christ can expect – as the Bible teaches – to one day be resurrected from the dead, then the fear of death is ultimately conquered in us; and we can go on to live a life fundamentally characterized by confident hope, peace and joy.
We can rejoice in hope just as King David prayed in Psalm 16:9-11: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Sheol [that is, in the abode of the dead], nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
By contrast, if your heart is not gripped by that hope – if you are like so many today who simply believe that, when you die, you just die and that’s the end of it – then that lack of faith in the Bible’s teaching about the resurrection will trickle down into every area of life as well. As the writer of Ecclesiastes suggests, the man or woman who has no hope of resurrection is no better off than an animal: “For what happens to the sons of men also happens to the animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20)
How grim! And if this is true of men or women who spend their whole lives pursuing their own pleasures and interests; how much more true is it of those who would give ourselves in sacrifice to the concerns and interests of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ! As the Bible says of Christians in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
But the Good News we will learn about today will lead us to affirm that, because Jesus rose from the dead, we live in hope. Our whole lives are characterized by hope because Jesus’ tomb is empty and He is alive today! He Himself is a ‘living hope’. This passage of Scripture teaches us that because He is alive today, He Himself is to be the substance of our own personal experience of hope in the midst of all the challenges of daily life. Jesus said, in John 11:25-26: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
Is there any area in your life where you find some kind of “death” knocking at your door? Remember, Jesus is bigger than any problem you are currently facing and He has a Word that will guide you through every storm.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life.
He and He alone takes what is dead and brings to it life. And that includes every set of circumstances that may seem utterly hopeless to you.
In Him you always have hope!
Tomorrow we will look further into this biblical truth.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”