We find Paul doing something very unusual these days. Typically Christians think the resurrection provides help when I am dying or when a Christian loved one dies. It does that for sure. Paul lived every day “resurrectionally.” He endured his trials “resurrectionally.” He lived his today’s in light of his tomorrow. [It’s like a safety net for the trapeze artist. Free to do what they do because they know the net is there] I don’t think most of us think this way, myself included. We calculate things by the math of the here and now. How much does this hurt now? What will this cost me now? That sort of thing. Paul flipped the equation and asked; how much will this bother me after the resurrection? What will I perceive the cost of this to be after the resurrection? He lived resurrectionally. Today in light of tomorrow. The resurrection changes the calculation. Here’s how.
Whatever my trial or trouble is, because of the resurrection for the Christian, at most, it is short-term. No matter what it is, you name the problem, for the Christian it will not always be like this. Every trial is temporary. There is no hurt that is final or ultimate. There is no diagnosis that is absolute. Every lacking or need I have is at the most a short-term need. When I am mistreated by others, their words are not the final word. Categories and boxes people may put me in are fleeting; Jesus freak, Bible thumper, failure, whatever. Social categories are temporary; rich, poor, pretty, unattractive, smart, dumb, powerful, weak, important, forgettable. Life’s painful circumstances are not final either; family pain, marital pain, broken relationships, physical ailment and disability, disease, loneliness, heartbreak, and the daily discouragements of life in a broken world. For the Christian, all of today’s pains are temporary and all of tomorrow’s pleasures are permanent.
For the unbeliever it is the opposite. All of today’s pleasures are temporary and all of tomorrow’s pains are permanent. See how this shapes how we live? How I live today is determined by what I think about tomorrow.
The world’s way of thinking tries to convince us that this is all there is. Therefore, live for today and give no thought of tomorrow.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2011 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.