Hopeful Tears

The hope that we have in Christ is more real than anything that we can see or feel in front of us at this very moment. It is more real than the computer screen or phone in your hand. Yet the reality of this hope doesn’t mean tears won’t fall in the midst of tragedies. Those tears are also very real, but when tears are cried for someone with hope in Christ those tears are not indicative of an eternal sadness. They are tears for a reality that we hoped for on this side of heaven, but they are not tears that in any way diminish the hope that we have in Christ. I posted the full article from J.R. Vassar a week or so ago on Hope vs. Desire, but I want to highlight it again. J.R. illuminates the difference between our desire for an outcome and the hope that remains no matter what the outcome. 

Sometimes desires are not fulfilled. But, our hope is. Hope does not disappoint us (Romans 5:5). Our hope is certain and sure. Our hope is that none who trust in Him will ever ultimately be put to shame. Our hope is that in Jesus we are forgiven, given his Spirit, adopted as sons and daughters of God, and will one day be revealed as such (Romans 8:14-161John 3:2-3). Our hope is that Jesus has defeated our greatest enemies of Satan, Sin, and Death and through Him we will triumph (Romans 8:37). Our hope is that God is sovereignly moving heaven and earth to secure the good of his elect and bring about their glory and joy (Romans 8:28). Our hope is that we who are in Christ are the eternal objects of God’s love and that nothing, absolutely nothing, can change that status or rob us of its privileges (Romans 8:38-39). Our hope is that these momentary and light afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2Cor 4:16-17); that the things we suffer are not worth comparing to the glory that God will reveal to us (Romans 8:18). Our hope is that God will not leave us nor forsake us so that even as we experience ten thousand shadows of death come over us, we shall not fear because He is with us (Psalm 23). Our hope is that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us into his presence (2Cor 4:14). Our hope is that if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united to him in a resurrection like His (Romans 6:5). And, our hope is that Christ, who is our great treasure, will be exalted as such whether by life or by death (Philippians 1:20). 

As I continue to process what seems to be the closely approaching death of my wife’s friend, I am gripped by two realities. One is the very real emotion of grieving for her and the pain she’s going through. I have to stop myself from imagining what this must be like for her parents and her brothers. The weight of it is just too heavy. On the other hand, I am gripped by the reality that no matter when the Lord decides to call her home, the weight of glory will make this seem like a “momentary and light affliction.” From this earthly perspective I wouldn’t dare call what Lisa is going through a “momentary and light affliction.” In fact, I would refer to it as quite the opposite, but that’s because I’m comparing it to “good things” that aren’t even a drop of water compared to God’s ocean of glory. 

I keep coming back to “In Christ Alone” to remind me of my hope and Lisa’s hope and hopefully your hope. God help me to live a life that is more mindful of the hope I have in Christ than is mindful of the hopes and dreams of this world. 

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand


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