I got to say, life can be pretty disappointing sometimes. You set your heart on this or that goal, only to have it dashed right in front of you. You put confidence in a particular person, you give them your trust, only to have them betray your confidence or hurt you in some other way. And that’s not even talking about the other disappointments that can come from life: The friend at work who turns out not to be a friend, your son or daughter who doesn’t seem to be so interested in you anymore. Then your health takes a dive, your finances fall apart, your marriage is threatened. Where does it all end? Why do we get up in the morning? Some even wonder if they should go on living anymore?
Where do we go for hope when all seems to be at a loss? Well, you can’t count on other people so much, you can’t count on your job, sometimes you can’t even count on yourself. But what about the empty tomb of Jesus Christ? What about the Easter victory?
There in that tomb is a living hope. This hope is not based on the last words of some dead man; it is not based on the empty promises of a great prophet who is long gone; it is not based on the hopeful platitudes of some great teacher. Those are just words. Our hope is alive. It is alive because our Savior is alive.
The hopes and dreams of this world, of this life, are just a house of cards. If we build our self-worth or our worth to God on what we can produce with our hands or accomplish in our lives, then it's a false hope because those will eventually fail--one way or another.
And nowhere is that more clear to us than when we suffer. Suffering strips away all the things of this world that we had been using to prop ourselves up. "I'm worthwhile to God because I'm successful at work" "I'm a good person becasue my family is good." It doesn't work because none of those things will last. And think of the pressure we put on ourselves when we have to prove to God that we are worthwhile - every moment of our life because the most important and most critical. Who could live under that kind of pressure? Who could live perfectly for even an hour of their life?
But what God holds out is far better. It is the hope of the inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This is the forgiveness of sins. This is God's commitment of love to you. This is God sending Jesus to die as your substitute and rise again from the dead to show you your sins are forgiven. This is God preparing a place for you in heaven. This is God who has willed to you eternal life where there is no more sin.
And this is what we build our lives on: the hope of heaven, the peace of knowing we have nothing to prove to God, the joy of being able to live our lives and let go of our past sins and past failures knowing God holds nothing against us. Today we live! Today we live with hope that is alive.
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