Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Because He Lives, I Can Face Today

I took this photo of a bald
eagle a few hundred yards
from our house.
If you lived on earth for just one day you would encounter tragedy, either immediately or mediately. 

When tragedy strikes it is not good to suppress or deny it. It's not good to put a happy face on it. When something is bad, it's not good to say "It's not so bad." This is because that would be untruthful. 

Putting a happy face over tragedy breeds hopelessness.
"Hope" only kicks in as one goes through a dark valley. Hope is only possible where there is some level of darkness. Don't say, "This valley is not really so dark." It is. To say otherwise adds insult to injury. Instead, grieve and weep with those who grieve and weep. 

In addition, offer real hope. How?

Thomas Merton wrote: "We must not strive to maintain a clime of optimism by the mere suppression of tragic realities. Christian optimism lies in a hope of victory in which we pass beyond tragedy to glory with Christ crucified and risen." (Merton, Seasons of Celebration)

The source of our hope lies in looking at things unseen, not things that are seen. Confidence in the unseen future with Christ is rooted in the historical reality of Christ's cross and resurrection.  This is Paul's point to the Corinthians, expressed in his second letter to them.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Paul went through "light and momentary troubles." If you've read the stuff Paul suffered, you'd only call it :light and momentary" when compared to the glory that will be revealed in heaven. This glory will one day be experienced by all who are found to be in Christ. Thus, because He lives, I can face whatever today brings.