“He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying” (Matthew 28:6; NLT). What a remarkable blessing it is to know that each and every one of us has hope!
I love the month of April because we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate His choice to give people the opportunity to be saved from their sins by accepting Christ into their hearts. I am so glad that to be saved all I must do is admit that I am a sinner, truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died on the cross for my sins. I must also confess earnestly that Jesus Christ is Lord and choose to make Him the Savior and Lord over my life. Living in a broken world we recognize that there is adversity and challenges all around us. It can become difficult to have hope when hard times arise.
Recently, I have been wrestling with the meaning of hope. When defining hope, I recognize that hope has to do with having a strong belief that whatever it is that you desire to come true is tangible. Before someone can have hope, they must be inspired by something or someone to believe what it is that they desire is possible. Hope is the very reason why people who experience hardship are able to bounce back. I have found myself struggling between the tension of living with hope versus simply residing in survival mode. Both are two very different ways to live. One causes someone to live in a state of discontentment while the other provides an individual a pathway outside of the hole they found themselves falling into. Living in a state of hope requires faith and focus. It requires discipline and confidence. Confidence in God who is sufficient and more than capable to do the impossible with what we have considered impossible. On the other hand, someone who lives in a state of survival is living with a focus that leads them to dead ends. A focus that never provides them with peace. When someone is in survival mode they lean on things and people to keep them going. This causes instability. While on the other hand when someone truly places their hope in Christ there is consistency because God is dependable. It is important that we place our hope in God and nothing else.
Even though it can become difficult to have hope when hard times arise, what we are promised is that through Christ He is able to raise hope in us through redeeming, restoring, or healing whatever it is that we may have lost hope for. In Matthew 28:1-10, Mary and Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb Jesus was buried in. When they arrived, they found out that Jesus had risen from the grave as He had promised and was no longer in the tomb. Verse eight mentions that the women were so taken off guard that they were frightened and filled with joy. They then shared this wonderful news with the disciples.
I can only imagine how Jesus’ followers must have felt when they were worried that Christ may not ever be coming back. Some doubted and lost hope in what God had promised. God promised to rise from the grave and bring hope to this world. Still, many were afraid and chose to lose hope. I wonder how often we have been aware of God’s truth and yet lost faith and hope in Him.
My encouragement to you this month is to reflect on Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Go to Christ personally and ask Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior if you have not already (John 3:16, Romans 3:23, John 1:12, Romans 10:9). It is the best thing anyone can ever do. If you have done this, then take the time to give God your prayers and concerns. The desires of your heart never go unnoticed. Rest in Him and place your hope in Him for He is trustworthy and faithful.