Hope in the midst of


Hope in the Midst of...
So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
In the passage above, the Apostle Paul is saying that neither he, nor his fellow workers for the cause of Christ, will lose heart.  They continued to experience all kinds of suffering as a result of their Kingdom work, but they had something that kept them going.  They had a hope that made all the hardships worthwhile – resurrection in Christ.  They were convinced that the experiences of this world were to be enjoyed or endured in light of the eternal.  Such a hope in the fullness of a life offered in Christ kept them getting up each day with a spirit sufficient for whatever they would encounter.
While this passage wasn’t intended, perhaps, to speak directly to our present situation, I would argue that it has a lot to offer with respect to a helpful mindset.  So many people these days seem intent on losing heart.  They find themselves confronted with a pandemic that has claimed countless lives, and has altered the way we live.  They find themselves confronted with people who are angry and frustrated about societal ills of all flavors.  They find themselves in the midst of quarreling factions who seem to have no intent on finding a way forward that is mutually beneficial.  Add to those things the everyday challenges of marriage, children, work, maintaining a home, on-going physical ailments, and whatever else you can think of.  What do you get?  Someone who may feel like giving up hope.
As I listen to Paul’s words, I hear a voice of hope.  He seems to be saying that we need to get the things of this world in perspective.  He lifts up the afflictions of this world as momentary in light of eternity.  He focuses on the transient nature of this earthly life.  This world, with all its ills is not our final home; and, if we read to the end of the biblical story, we find that Light wins over Darkness.
If we try to put our hope in this imperfect world, we will be frustrated and sorrowful.  But if our hope is in Christ, then we can face the day, whatever it may bring. 
As we progress through Lent toward Holy Week, this is a great time to do some deep thinking about how we may have contributed to the imperfections of society in our little corner of the world.  And with that reflection should come a resolve to cast some of the Light of Christ into that darkness as only we can.  If there is an aspect of society that is inhibiting us from being able to share the love of Christ with another person, or inhibiting that other person from receiving the love of Christ from us, we must seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as to a way forward. 
Whether the challenge is physical illness, racism/prejudice, or something else, we who are resurrection people have a joyful obligation to seek a way to inject the hope of Christ into the situation.  Christ is our only hope, and our transformative influence for today.
- Pastor Ross
Last Published: March 15, 2021 11:24 AM
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