Until we’re equipped to die, we’re not equipped to live.
‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ (1 Peter 1:3)
The old spirituals that we still sometimes sing are mostly about the future, because in those dark days of slavery, there wasn’t a lot to be glad about in the here and now. Those songs brought joy into the hearts of ill-treated, trodden down slaves, being denied the dignity and freedom every human being deserves. They sang about ‘crossing the Jordan’, about ‘glory’ and although ‘Soon and very soon we are going to see the King’ was a later song, that was the spirit of their music!
This is not escapism! We can sing about the future because in the darkest times of life – one thing remains sure. God raised Jesus from the dead, and ‘Because I live, you also will live,’ (John 14:19). We enjoy His resurrected life today, indwelling and enabling us to live well, but we also have the certain hope of a future resurrection from the dead. This ‘living hope’ overrides the worst nightmares of life and gives to us one of the most important ingredients of life - hope. We can say with Paul about the present and the future, ‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain’ (Philippians 1:21).
Is your Christian life about what God does in you, or about your human efforts?
Bible in one year: Matthew 21 | Genesis 22