Week 11 Devo – THURSDAY

Hope When All Seems Hopeless

Thanks to the Resurrection of Jesus, Christians are promised that the best is yet to come. We are promised that death is only the beginning, not the end, and suffering is only temporary. That is why the apostle Paul told the Thessalonian Christians who had lost their believing loved ones that though we grieve, we do not grieve like those who have no hope because we know it is only a short time until we see them again (1 Thessalonians 4:13). But there is more. In the same passage, Paul answered at least three vital questions that give us hope now and in the future.

  1. What will the resurrection be like?

Read 1 Corinthians 15:51–52.

Unexplainable signs and miracles will accelerate the resurrection of the dead. The dead will rise suddenly. Loud noises will accompany this disastrous hurrying of the dead. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul stated that three different sounds will be heard at the resurrection: the cry or command of the Lord Himself, the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet of God (4:16).

  1. What kind of resurrection body can we expect?

Read 1 Corinthians 15:35–44,50–56.

Our resurrection body will be a literal, physical body, not a ghost or spirit – we will look like Jesus (Philippians 3:21). Christ was raised in a physical body and Scripture tells us that our resurrection bodies will be patterned after His body (Luke 24:39).

Paul used two descriptive words to characterize resurrection life in verse 53: incorruptible (a body that never needs to be upgraded) and immortal (a body that will never die).

It is difficult to watch our bodies break down, but as believers, we hope – because we know death is not the end. That doesn’t mean we look forward to death, but as Greg Laurie, Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship shared on social media, “Only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live.”

  1. Why does the Resurrection of Christ matter for us today?

Read 1 Corinthians 15:30–34,57–58.

Paul said to the early Christians that if the Resurrection had never happened, they may as well stop suffering for Christ and dedicate their lives to pleasure (1 Corinthians 15:30–32). However, because Jesus has been raised, Paul stated that Christians should pursue holy living (vv. 33–34). From the beginning, Christianity has taught that the Resurrection was not something to be embarrassed about but something to proclaim and, if necessary, to sacrifice our lives for.

The Resurrection shapes our future and energizes our present usefulness and ministry for the kingdom of God. Paul concluded this teaching with a powerful point in verse 58: What happens in the future with your resurrection body affects everything you do for God today. That is why Paul used the present tense, “Your labor in the Lord is not in vain,” rather than the future tense, “Your labor will not be in vain.” He challenged believers to never give up or quit but to “be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work.”

We should never lack motivation to serve God with all our hearts because we know everything we do for God will last for all eternity. Any suffering we endure for Jesus’ sake will be worth it when we see Him and are welcomed into His eternal kingdom.

Christians can be as solid as a rock – steadfast and immovable – because the worst enemy, death, is defeated, and we have nothing to fear. We need to be strong. The Resurrection promises us that our lives have eternal significance when devoted to our ever-living, resurrected Lord.

How does believing in Jesus’ Resurrection change how you live and handle tough times?