Friday, October 10, 2014

31 Days Of Strength In Scripture: Why Hope Matters

If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:19

Even the Bible recognizes this conundrum of living a life of faith. If Christ really wasn't raised from the dead, if everything we are living for and preaching about is all in vain, then how sad are we? How sad is it to think of living a meaningless life just to die and return to the earth as dust?

But, I suppose that's the alternative, no matter how you look at it.

There are certain things I hate about being a Christian. I hate that some people hate me for what I believe, I hate that they make assumptions about who I am (anti-gay, anti-woman, etc), and I hate that there is absolutely nothing I can do or say to change their minds. I know many other Christians who have gained the maturity to no longer care about what other people think of them, but I'm not one.

Yet it's to be expected because the Bible even makes mention of that:

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22

I guess if everyone loved me, I'd ought to be worried, but I believe that desire comes partly from the eternity that He has set in our hearts. I am loved, truly and wholly, by Him, and one day I will know nothing else but that kind of love. For now, however, I am stuck in a different world, one that sometimes feels like a prison.

Thankfully, there is hope to be found in scripture about that very thing.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” - 1 John 4:4

Every human being has the potential to let us down. Even Christians. There are plenty of criticisms we could make about the church, including the self-righteousness that can arise when there are disagreements over scripture, and the hypocrisy and cliques that so often push people away. What we all have to come to realize is that it isn't about us. It isn't about 'them'. It isn't about anyone except 'He who is in us', and if we'd all just get out of the way and let Him take care of things, we'd be a whole lot better off.

Perhaps it's this fact that makes the whole faith thing worth it: If it's only us who are in control, with all of our faults and awful imperfections, then there is no hope to be found. But the redemption is there, and it's real, and it's so much better than anything we ourselves have to offer.