Some believers are focusing more on the things of the earth rather than things above, taking whatever would happen afterlife for granted. That is the reason why they are making very little efforts to conform with the teaching of Christ today. My brother, my sister, yes, Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead, assuring us of life after this life, for eternity. Yet, today’s verse tells us this: “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied”. What does this mean? Why would a believer of Christ be more to be pitied than anyone in the world if there was only earthly value to Christianity? This question should make us reflect on the reasons why we are following our Lord!
In Apostle Paul’s days, many people who converted went through lots of things that many people are not ready to endure today: persecution, ostracism from family, sometimes even poverty. There were few tangible benefits from being a Christians at that time as we can see today. Indeed, Christianity is certainly not a step up the social or career ladder, which the world is exposing to us as the two major things to measure success or achievement in this life. Therefore, Christianity is less attractive to many people, especially young people who think they have to prove themselves socially and achieve and succeed in their careers above all else. The fact is, nowadays, even Christians are more attracted or attached to such world’s value, which lead them to make compromises with the Word of God. But the Bible tells us that Jesus is the “resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Because He rose, we have the certainty that our sins are forgiven, that He lives and represents us before God and that we know we also will be raised (1 Corinthians 15:13-18). That is the future and hope we have in our Lord!
Now, walking with the Lord while being more interested in success in this life is living a life of deception, and it is even pitiful as today’s verse says because this makes Christ’ sacrifice meaningless. Thank God, that is not the case. Jesus came into the World to lead us to eternity. He became poor so that we may become rich, but His riches has nothing to do with the world’s riches. Besides, there is no promise in the Bible that being a Christian will lead you to a good job, wealth, freedom from debt, etc. God says He knows the plans He has for you: “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). My friend, the prosperity of the Lord is not necessarily financial or material things: it can be His peace, which He promised us (John 14:27), completeness, safety, health, satisfaction or different blessings. In His plan, what the Lord has for us is a future and hope of eternal life. Yet, “rich and the poor have this in common: The Lord is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). So, you don’t come to Christ hoping to become rich. You know, Jesus had rich people among His disciples (Matthew 27:57). Come to the Lord as you are in the hope that He will give you a new future, a new name and that He will prosper you in the way He says in His Word, not as you imagine ecause of the world has presented you. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.