"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 15:17-19
Two years ago our President was swept into office on a promise of bringing "hope and change". Judging by recent political polls, those hopes have been short-lived and a new batch of politicians are peddling their versions of hope.
When will we learn not to pin our hopes on politicians?
Hope is in short supply today for many reasons. Sort of like it was 2,000 years ago when Paul penned these hope-filled words.
Take some encouragement from this feel good story:
You could call 12-year-old Jack Pittman-Heglund the "comeback kid."
He gave doctors a thumbs-up on Tuesday... an amazing feat considering that Jack had been in a coma for five days after suffering what doctors determined was a heart attack.
His lacrosse team at Keller Middle School is cheering on Jack's recovery at a Wednesday practice.
Their regular uniform color is blue, but this time, all the kids the team wore red.
"This is for Jack," said coach Dan Perry. "It's showing their heart."
Jack collapsed at home last Thursday while talking with his mother.
"I was like really, really sad, because me and Jack were like really good friends... then it just sort of happened," said teammate Connor O'Brien.
Fortunately, Jack's mom knew CPR and she was able to get his heart going again.
"I think she saved his life, and I think everybody's in agreement about that," said lacrosse club president Tracey Perry.
The boy was flown by helicopter ambulance to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. He had been there — unconscious — since Thursday's heart attack.
"He was in a coma, and they started weaning him off some of the sedatives, and he started waking up," Perry said. "It's been baby steps form there, but all positive."
That news of Jack's recovery has his teammates smiling again, and signing a giant "get well" card.
"Coach Shane and I have been down to the hospital a couple of times each, and it's positive," Perry told Jack's teammates.
Thank God his mother and the doctors never gave up hope. Hope is powerful!
Of course, we were all rivoted to our TV screens this week as we watched the heroic rescue of the 33 miners in Chile. These men who were trapped 1/2 mile below the surface for over two months in deplorable conditions. They were down there for seventeen days after the collapse of the mine before anyone discovered they were still alive. With hope revived the two-month long rescue effort was undertaken. We celebrated the successful completion of that rescue just a couple of days ago.
Hope kept them alive in the dark, damp, 90+ degree heat of the mine shaft. Hope kept the drillers and engineers and meidcal folks working around the clock preparing for the rescue. And hope sustained the families who spent anxious agonizing hours awaiting the rescue. Hope is a poweful thing.
But, there is hope and then there is HOPE.
Hope, as in wishful thinking, is one thing. This is the hope that was at work in this situation. Everyone worked hard in the hope that all their plans would work and the miners would be saved.
And there is the hope that Paul talks about in this verse. It is a hope based upon a solid fact of history that Jesus Christ was crucified and came back to life on the third day. Because Jesus did arise from the dead and because in so doing He conquered death, we can have a solid hope about our own death and the eternity that follows.
The Great Apostle links all of our hopes on the fact of Christ's resurrection and what His death and resurrection accomplished. When eternity at stake this is what we need. Wishful thinking is not enough.
Thank God for the power of hope! I sure love the feel good stories, but I rejoice in the fact of His resurrection. Therein, is my hope!