Dear ES, with COVID-19, being all over the news and more cases and consequently more deaths, I am starting to get scared/ worried/ fearful about what is post this life.. how are Christians so hope-filled at this time? From an observer of Christians?!?!...
This is a great question! I can think of 3 main reasons why Christians might be full of hope despite all that’s going on:
Things like this aren’t entirely unexpected,
Christians know it won’t be this way forever,
We are not alone or abandoned in the meantime.
Firstly, Christians know that this world and its people are broken and that sickness, sadness and death have existed almost since the beginning of the world. When Adam and Eve chose to decide what was right and wrong for themselves, rather than letting God tell them, a chain of events began that has led us to where we are today -- we decide we want to live life on our terms, we reject the God who made us and everything else in creation, and in doing so, the things we were never meant to be exposed to (sadness, sickness, death, and separation from God) confront us every day. Anxiety, fear, worry, and depression are natural reactions to a situation that we were never designed to have to deal with. You are not alone in feeling this way, and many, many Christians feel this way too!
But then the second point comes in. Christians know that God has no intention of letting this situation go on forever. The Bible tells us that He has enacted a plan to rid the world of sin by bringing in a new heavens and earth. Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection revolutionarily change things. By living the perfect, sinless life in step with God that we can’t, and then dying sacrificially on the cross, Jesus absorbed all the times we rejected God so that we can appear worthy of approaching God for help and transformation. Jesus paid the penalty for sin when he died on the cross so that we don’t have to. And then 3 days later, he was raised from the dead to prove that God has the power to do that for anyone who asks and believes in all that has been done! Christians know that there is a time coming when this broken world will be transformed into the perfect world it was always intended to be, and that anyone who believed in the work of Jesus would be raised to life like he was, and will spend eternity together, worshipping God in a perfect, sinless place. And Christians also know that that place is our destination after our earthly death; that we have nothing to fear from death because it is merely a passing from this life into the next glorious place with God.
Obviously, we are not there yet! This is where we can take comfort in the third point. Until that amazing change happens, God has promised that he is with us, spurring us on. The Bible is almost entirely filled with stories where God’s people cry out to Him in their suffering, He hears them and rescues them, and then they abandon Him again. But no matter how many times humans do that, He is always there, always listening, always intervening. The life of Jesus, God in human form, shows us the lengths that God will go to, to experience the suffering we endure so that we can know that God is intimately familiar with what life is like for humans. Since Jesus’ resurrection, Christians have also received an unbelievable gift -- the presence of God’s Holy Spirit, living in believers, encouraging us from the inside, helping us to understand the things in the Bible, and helping us to pray for God’s help when we don’t have the words ourselves.
Christians certainly experience worry, anxiety, and fear when we see what’s going on in the world. But the hope of knowing that God is with us by His Holy Spirit, that Jesus has experienced this life and understands how hard it is, that God hears our prayers and is moved to act for the people he loves, and ultimately, that there is a glorious, perfect, eternal life to come, mean that we can look past all that weighs us down, and instead focus on following the God who loves us and is leading and guiding us through to a perfect world with Him.
Grace & Peace,