I put a post up a few months back called “How far will you tread with Jesus?” This is not a response, but a fuller picture of that previous post.
“Christ in me
Christ in me
The hope of glory”From the song “Be My Everything”
The greatest pinnacle of the Christian faith is that Christ has resurrected from the dead. Without it our religion is reduced to nothing – “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” – 1 Corinthians 15:17. It is from this foundation that we can endure and face any trial or persecution that we will ever encounter in this life. The reason we can endure under any trial, even the persecution of someone killing us for our faith, even being tortured for faith in Christ, is that the torture is temporary, and death is not the end.
Our hope of facing persecution is not based simply on the fact that we will be rewarded in heaven for our perseverance through all the trials that come, but is based on the fact that they do no definitively end our fellowship with Jesus, but only bring us speedily towards our savior, and if they end in death, bring us immediately into the presence of the One whom we long to find ourselves before. The grave holds no power over the children of God – it is merely the means by which we shed the prison-like body of sin, and are brought into the presence of the Lord. Christians are not those who fear death – but instead embrace it. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” – 1 Corinthians 15:55.
We have confidence that we can stand under the trial of persecutions and even torture or even someone killing us because it is not the end for us. Christ dwells in us, and if he dwells in us then he has power over death. Since he has power over death, we can confidently enter those trials with faith and hope in our Savior, that he can conquer what we ourselves in our own strength could never conquer. We have hope because, like Stephen, before he was stoned to death, we will look upon our Savior in glory – “But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ ” – Acts 7:55-56.
We can stand at the grave sites of all the saints we know who have died and look with joy, knowing, “They rest not here, they are alive, at this moment looking upon Jesus, beholding the glory of Lord, receiving the ‘eternal weight of glory’ (2 Corinthians 4:17)”
Christ in me
Christ in me
The hope of glory