The Hope of a Better Life
They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.
Hebrews 11:35c (NLT)
I recently hit a major birthday milestone and spent some time looking back over the past few decades. For much of my adult life, I looked ahead to the next stage, hoping I would finally feel like a mature adult. When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to get married and secure my first “real” job. Then I looked forward to becoming a mom. Then I couldn’t wait until my kids were older and I knew what I was doing, instead of parenting by the seat of my pants (spoiler alert: that never happened). Then I looked forward to going back to work and figuring out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
My faith followed a similar pattern. For years, I kept waiting to feel like I was a mature believer. Waiting until I figured this “following God” thing out. Waiting until my spiritual life matched what I saw in other people. I finally realized that life isn’t about arriving at a particular place or stage. We are always in flux, always in the process of growing and becoming.
The desire to grow and mature is universal. But an important distinction sets believers apart – the hope of the resurrection. Hebrews 11, the “Hall of Faith” details a long list of Old Testament heroes – including heavy-hitters Abraham and Moses and near strangers Barak and Jephthah – whose faith enabled them to endure hardships, perform miracles and hang on in the face of insurmountable odds. Some were even tortured for their faith, but the writer says they faced death without fear, because “they placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.”
Because of Christ’s resurrection, we have the assurance that death is not the end of our story. No matter our regrets, disappointments or failures in life, the resurrection gives us confident hope that our story won’t stay there. It’s okay if we never fully become who we want to be in our current life. Instead, we have a hope and peace in the future, knowing that in eternity, we will be perfect. Complete. Fulfilled. Mature. The person God created us to be in the first place.
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b (NLT)hortly after having our third child, my husband took a huge leap of faith and left the corporate world to make a career switch. He had hoped this change...
For she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. Matthew 9:21-22 (ESV)o you want to be...
Living with Hope
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah...
Wishing and Hoping
Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. Matthew 20:29-34...
Week 4: The Light of Joy
Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. Ecclesiastes 11:7 (ESV)s I walked along the dry-stone wall, the last rays of sunlight gasped a final breath before disappearing behind the scenic peak in the distance. It wasn’t even...