He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. St Matthew 28:6 KJV
What hope and consolation these words bring! Our inspiration to live and thrive comes from hope. It is this hope that we have in Christ’s resurrection that propels us to keep on believing even in the midst of despair because he said so! His words are true.
In my life’s journey I have been through many ups and downs. When things are going great I am on top of the world basking in the bliss of the moment. Unfortunately, when that narrative changes and I am faced with my valley experiences; my decision is what pulls me through. You see, we were created with creative energy to transform the nothingness of our environment to something of worth or meaning. We are often found in one of two physiological state, either being controlled by our environment (what’s happening currently) or in charge of our environment (deciding what your outcome will be). Hope assures us of a definite outcome.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Frankly, faith has no purpose without hope. Faith guarantees your hope. When my first son was born, I observed the entire birth process. It was a mind blowing process, filled with the complexity of pain. My wife screamed, groaned, squeezed my hand and at intervals smile. I felt responsible for the pain, I was confused and helpless. Six hours seems like eternity, but when my son finally arrived and was held by mom, the atmosphere became illuminated with expressions of joy. Surprisingly, a few months after we were engaged in a conversation about another child. I asked, are you prepared to go through that process again? She said, yes! The pain is overwhelming but when I give birth I am giving life to possibility and purpose (hope).
Once again we are presented with more words of consolation:
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2, KJV
I visited a psychologist recently, regarding some personal challenges with the intention that my difficulties would disappear. Based on the questions he asked, a pattern was established. This pattern caused me to think that he was accusing me of causing the problem because every question was enquiring how I perceived my environment (problems if you may). I gleaned from that, that my perspective give shape to my outcome, but perspective is the flames that emanate from the fire of hope, which we find in the words of the risen saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord.
And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
29 And David said, what have I now done? Is there not a cause? 1 Samuel 17:28-30 (KJV)
Is there not a cause? Is there not a reason to see tomorrow? Is there a reason to endure this process? Hope will do to you what magnets do to magnetic particles, it gives alignment to molecules, and hence, hope gives structure and alignment to our thoughts. It is this alignment toward an expected end coupled with faith and work that gives birth to possibilities and purpose.
I am thankful for Jesus hanging on the cross but I am hopeful because He is risen! It is the act of defeating death and hell and bursting the tomb open that brings me the greatest joy. Had he just died on the cross and never got up then I would be thankful but my hope of being able to rise from setbacks and trials would be diminished. Also, the hope of spending eternity with Him now is in full view because of His resurrection. At this point I am totally excited and giving praise.
The Apostle Paul outlines this argument very well in 1 Corinthians 15:19-22
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. What do you have to lose? Accept Jesus today.