Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Jesus Christ the living hope

 

April 29, 2020



During this COVID-19 pandemic, many people are losing hope, not only because of the disease itself but because of increasing joblessness and the now-depressed economy.

But there’s hope because in many areas, the disease has reached its apex or will in the foreseeable future, largely because of the proactivity of our governments and the obedience, for the most part, of the people. God won’t let anything get so bad in this world for Christians that we cannot bear it (Matthew 24:21-31).

Just over two weeks ago, the world celebrated the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who through that series of events brought to us the fulfillment of the ages to come — humankind’s hope of eternal life (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Hebrews 9:11-28; 1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Ephesians 2:1-7). The prospect of Jesus’ return to complete the Christians’ salvation gives us a living hope that’s based in his resurrection, celebrated and remembered every first day of the week by the church through the Lord’s Supper (1 Peter 1:3-9; Matthew 26:17 to 28:7; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:17-32).

This living hope begins when one unites himself or herself to Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection through scriptural baptism, putting to death the sinful nature and rising to the new life as a living sacrifice (Acts 2:38-39; Galatians 3:26-29; 4:4-7; 5:16; Romans 6:3-11; 12:1-2; 8:9-17). Baptism brings about the new birth into the living hope by the resurrection of Christ mentioned in 1 Peter 1:3, but without the Spirit, who is Christ in us, the hope of glory guaranteeing our inheritance, there’s no hope (Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:11-13).

First Peter 1:3-9, cited above, says several things about our living hope.

First, our living hope is coupled with our eternal, heavenly inheritance, which cannot perish, spoil or fade because it’s kept in heaven for those shielded through faith by God’s power. Nothing in heaven is perishable, and we’ll also be imperishable/immortal when we go there (1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 50-58; 1 John 3:1-3; Acts 22:16; Colossians 3:1-11).

Second, our faith, which involves obedience to God’s commands (hearing and doing), is prerequisite to being shielded by his power (James 1:22-25; Hebrews 10:19-25; John 15:5-14; 10:27-28; Revelation 2:10). For this protection, we must use the armor God provides, which includes the shield of faith that helps us to stand against whatever evil or trouble we face in this world (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Third, troubles are meant to strengthen our faith, thereby bolstering our hope in Jesus’ resurrection that won’t disappoint us in gaining eternal life (Romans 5:1-5; Titus 1:1-3; 3:3-8; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; James 1:2-4).

So as we now see a distant light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, giving us hope that things will get better again, we also should see the light in the tunnel of life giving us the hope in Jesus’ resurrection (John 8:12; 16:33; 11:25-26).

Do you believe that? God even helps us with our faith to bolster our hope in the resurrection when we ask (James 1:5-8; Mark 9:23-24).

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected]

 
 

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