Discouragement. Despair. Depression. What do these three words have in common? In a word: hopelessness. That’s a word which packs a punch. Just hearing the word paints a mental picture that leaves a person feeling sad and alone. Personally, I believe hopelessness is why antidepressants were created. No one likes to feel like there is no hope because it means there is no possibility of improvement or resolution to a problem. I've experienced times in my life when I thought all hope was lost, and those days truly were the darkest days of my life.
It’s easy to grow discouraged and believe there is no hope when it comes to suffering and living with a chronic illness. We know what tomorrow holds for us physically. It’s a reasonable assumption to think the day will be filled with sickness, pain, and fatigue because that is the life of a person living with an illness. Yet as depressing as that thought can be, it still doesn’t begin to compare to a day we read about in Scripture – the Day of No Hope.
Stop and think about it for a moment. To all of Christ’s followers, they couldn't imagine Him dying. He was their Messiah, their King, the Savior of the Jewish nation. He was their hope. And He DIED! All of their dreams, their plans, their hopes for a better tomorrow were based solely on Christ’s life. He wasn't supposed to die, but He did. Can you imagine what they went through on Saturday, the day after Jesus was killed on a cross and then buried in a tomb? All of their hopes died and were buried with Him, and nothing could change that.
Although I can’t begin to imagine what Christ’s followers went through that day, I do know what it’s like to experience the death of a dream. In fact, most of us can say that. From the moment the doctor told us we were sick, life changed. With that diagnosis, our lives took a major detour and all the plans and dreams we had for our lives changed. Some had to leave a thriving career to sit at home and collect disability. Some had to give up the dream of having children of their own. Some, like me, had to completely change the plan for their entire lives.
Dreams can die, and when that happens, hopelessness is quick to follow. But like Jesus, the death isn't permanent. Hope can be reborn. Dreams can change and be renewed. Victory can come out of death.
As you celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ this Easter weekend, don’t forget the Day of No Hope. Whatever you’re going through during this season in your life, remember there is always hope. The hands which gently hold and comfort you when you’re hurting, broken, and bruised are the same ones that were nailed to an old rugged cross so that you could experience freedom and victory from sin and death.
So be encouraged, my friend. Your story isn’t over. The all-powerful God is working in your life, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. He will take your Day of No Hope and turn it into an amazing testimony of His resurrection power.
“Then the saying will come true: ‘Death is swallowed by triumphant Life! Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?’ It was sin that made death so frightening and guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
© March 28, 2013