A few weeks ago my family sat in front of our television and watched a drenching-wet news reporter describe the landfall of Hurricane Irma as it pounded the coast of Florida. The wind and the waves battered the defenseless community. Palm trees violently whipped back and forth.
The images were scary enough, but perhaps one of the most troubling things that kept me glued to my TV was how close this disaster followed Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas or the massive earthquake that had just hit Mexico. Yet after watching Irma, we’ve seen more storms rage and more earthquakes destroy cities and lives.
Then there are all the other disasters brewing on the horizon: growing tensions with a nuclear North Korea, the refugee crisis from Syria and elsewhere, and the social upheaval in our own country.
Those are just the disasters that we watch on TV or see on the internet. But all of us have our own crises that we interact with daily as well: trouble at work, fighting in our family, changes to our health, death of loved ones. In light of all of this, it’s easy to feel hopeless. So we watch another TV show, go to another movie, play another game. We do anything we can to distract ourselves.
To be certain, if our hope amongst the fear of the world is in our own strength, entertainment, intelligence, jobs, health, family, or government—we will be disappointed. Soon or later a big enough storm, a strong enough enemy, or a vicious enough disease will defeat us. No amount of escapism or trying harder will save us.
But there is Good News! We can have a reason to hope in spite of the bad news and our own difficulties. Jesus Christ overcame the grave and defeated death! Although the world around us is temporary and ever quickly fading, through Christ we can have an eternal hope. He gives us the strength we need to face our own hardships and to love and serve others in theirs as well.
When we put our trust in Christ, the victory he received over death and sin on the cross becomes our victory. The new life he acquired from the empty tomb becomes our present and future.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 ESV