Tuesday, October 5

Life Is Hard and Then You Die

I remember seeing that bumper sticker several years ago when I was much younger and less experienced. I laughed at its absurd cynicism.

In the years since then, I've come to understand that it isn't absurd at all, but rather, it's absolutely correct. It's even biblical. Christ himself tells his disciples this:

In the world you have trouble and suffering....

Yep, there it is: Life is hard. Bad things happen, and we can expect them. Of course, Christ doesn't end his saying to his followers with "and then you die". Thank goodness, there's more!

...but take courage--I have conquered the world.

Life is hard and then you die, but there is hope. There is hope because all that is wrong in this world has already been conquered by Christ on the cross, and he is taking the world back from it's wrongness, bringing glory yet to be revealed. The good stuff is coming.

For I consider that our present sufferings
cannot even be compared
to the glory that will be revealed to us.

All will be made right, for in a true sense, it has already been restored with Christ's victorious resurrection. And the right will be more right than the worst of the wrong can ever be wrong. So much more right that a true comparison can't even be made. We get it all back, and then some, and then some, and then some more.

We have the Spirit's indwelling as the firstfruits of that abundant restoration, but we still groan along with the whole of creation, and that groaning is the groaning of pure anguish. What we hope for is not here yet, and we live each day in awareness of what is lost. The glory to be is still unseen to us, and so we live with heartache, but that heartache is there alongside real hope, for we already have God's own guarantee that one day we will see our world brought back right again.

...we hope for what we do not see,
we eagerly wait for it with endurance.

We have the courage to endure because we know there is better coming. Not just better, but complete restoration and more. All will be right in the end.

Life is hard and then you die, but take courage, for there is hope: Christ restores.

And then some.

[Scripture quoted from Romans 8 and John 16 (NET).]

[This post was written in response to two particular real life events: this and this. (Jeri has commented here on this blog.)]

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