The Better Hope

1st Corinthians 15: 53-58

53 For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Death, where is your sting?
    Hades,   where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

 


 

As our Lord Jesus was raised from death, so we who are in Him will be raised and fully changed in the future.  This is our steadfast hope.  This is our better hope, a growing hope, a lively hope, an abounding hope.  We have this hope within on which to believe, to think, to dwell, to live.

The hopes of the world apart from Him, are fading, diminishing, and at last dying.  Life is constricting and receding for those who remain apart from Him.  Clinging to and grasping for this present world and its things is their dismal hope and lot apart from finding mercy.

green hope

We have a new hope, a green-colored hope, if you will.  This newness, this greenness within us has such a peaceful, joyful future.  Though it may seem weak and difficult to see at times, its future is sure.  Our own sin, the world, and our true enemy, may discourage and depress to a great degree our perceiving of this great hope within us.   This hope, this new creation, this perfect life within, is a sure thing.

We can go again and again to the Word of life, trusting the gentle and gracious Spirit to feed this newness, this greenness within through His Word.  We trust our Lord Jesus to keep this life within us, to be its Protector, its Deliverer, its Shepherd and its Refuge.  Even if we have allowed ourselves to be found in a place of cares, anxieties, and turmoil, the perfect greenness within is sheltered in His perfect mercy and strength.

Focusing on the strong promises and truths of our sure Hope, we can allow the deceiving hopes and cares of this world and its god to fade, to diminish, to die away more.   We can allow the final Victor to attain more victory for us now, today.  Our Victor is so merciful and gracious.  He gives us more and more of this victory as we do less and less.  All that is required of us is to let Him work righteousness within us through faith, to love His mercy, and to walk humbly and lowly, expecting Him to do the heavy lifting.   Ours is becoming more of a faith of believing, trusting, hoping, worshiping, and thanking rather than doing, straining, and trying in our own strength. (or rather our weakness)  To God, To Jesus, be the glory, for His mercy and love that works such a merciful exchange for us.  We can look forward to that day when the death and sin that remains with us is swallowed up by victory and life.  This is our better and great hope.