“For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”. I Corinthians 15:18
We have hope for the future because Christ has been raised from the dead. As Paul says, if Christ has not been raised, then those in Christ who have died are lost, and we have no hope. This life is “as good as it gets.” But the scriptures assure us that Christ is the first born from among the dead-the first to be raised to an indestructible life. When the time comes, we too will be raised to life-our perishable body will be raised imperishable (I Corinthians 15:42-44).
Jesus showed us how to live with hope. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus was able to endure the cross because of “the joy set before him.” Jesus was able to scorn the shame of the cross because of his knowledge of the resurrection from the dead that was coming.
Likewise, because of the certainty of our future, we can live hope-filled lives now. Our hope does not mean that we will not face hardships in this life or that we will lead a “charmed” life. Rather, we face hardships and difficulties with courage because we know that this life is not “all there is.”
Moreover, Romans 15:13 tells us that we abound in hope by the power of the Spirit. As we grow in the knowledge of our salvation and the hope that we have because of the resurrection, the Spirit inspires hope within us. He enables us to live in the moment, not ignoring our difficulties, but knowing that there is a glorious future that awaits us.