These are great times! I haven’t heard anyone say that. To even suggest it would no doubt bring incredulous, disbelieving looks from others. Far from calling them great, we would be far more likely to describe these past weeks as stressful, worrisome, even life-threatening. The strain is becoming more obvious with reports of protests, food shortages, and mental health concerns. Maybe you’ve felt anxious and have had trouble sleeping. These are not easy times for anyone.
But could the times still be great? If we look at the present situation with only our human reason and what we see with our eyes, there is little to lift our spirits. However, Paul writes, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18). Today more than ever, we see the suffering sin has brought into the world. And God tells us that is just a symptom of the eternal condemnation we all deserve because of our guilt.
Yet these are great times because of what is unseen to the eye. We are living in the light of Easter. Christ is risen! His payment for sin on the cross is accepted by the Father. He met death and overcame it. Because He lives, we have eternal life. Our own resurrection on the last day and eternal happiness in the new heaven and earth are assured. What better time in which to live?
Let’s not lose sight of that blessedness in the temporary troubles of the moment. In speaking of our salvation in Christ, the psalmist says, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24). No matter what difficulties we may face today, it is a great day, because we have the Spirit dwelling in us by faith reminding us that we are God’s beloved children under His care and protection. It is a great day because the Lord has good works already prepared for us to do in love for Him. It is a great day because the living Lord is directing all things for the ultimate good of His Church. It is a great day because we have the certain hope of glory to come.
Let the light of Jesus shine out today in the optimism of faith, and when others ask how you can possibly be hopeful in such unsettling times, be ready to tell them of the risen and living Savior.
In His name,
Tomorrow’s service will stream live at 8 a.m. on YouTube, and afterwards be uploaded to Ustream.
From the Bd. of Elders: The Messiah Board of Elders appreciates your faithfulness in your offering contributions. We have multiple ways to offer our thanks to the Lord through these offerings. You can drop off or mail offerings to the church. Another suggestion is to use your banking institution’s electronic bill paying service. To do this, go to your bank or credit union bill paying site and follow their instructions for adding Messiah to your list of payees. The address to enter is: Messiah Lutheran Church and School, 12145 W. Edgerton Ave., Hales Corners, WI 53130.