As Christians, we have hope. It’s beautiful and gives us something to live for. As humans, however, we tend to forget what hope really means. The life we live right now will not last forever. Today will pass, tomorrow will arrive, and eventually our earthly lives will end and eternity with Christ will begin. The key to understanding hope, however, is knowing that hope will carry us throughout those passing days.
I was looking through the 2014 guest lineup for YC Newfoundland and realized I didn’t have The Afters’ newest album. After buying it, I realized I was missing out on a number of fantastic songs. One song that really hit home is called “This Life”[i]. If you haven’t already heard it, or want to listen to it again, feel free to listen to it here:[ii]
This life is full of unknowns, excitement, pain, joy, hurt, happiness and everything in between. Everything from childhood to old age is full of these ongoing moments. The only thing we have to remember: “this won’t last forever.”
I’m a proud dad of a beautiful 7 month old daughter. There have been nights, however, when I’ve repeated “this won’t last forever” to calm my tired eyes. There have also been nights when that phrase has reminded me that she won’t be a baby forever – she’s growing up. As Gretchen Rubin once said, “the days are long, but the years are short.”[iii]
So as I listened to the song, the challenge of the chorus and bridge became so real to me.
Life is temporary.
One of my favorite lines in this song is, “we can’t keep it, or save it for another time.” Although many of us would like the concept, life isn’t made up of a series of moments we can pause, fast-forward or rewind. We can’t save joyful moments for later time, or blow past painful experiences to get it over with. We have to live each moment as they arrive. We prioritize. We make choices. We live in those moments. The hope, however, is knowing that life’s moments are temporary and that our eternal glory is far greater than any suffering on this earth. Paul wrote:
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18)
Love is our legacy.
Culture wants to define a “full life” by the number of years we live, the number of successes we have, or perhaps the amount of influence we attain. Scripture has a different message, and this song describes it so well: “how we love is what will last.” People will remember us for who we were before they will remember what we did. Out of the love we are known for, we are connected to the hope we have in Christ. How we love each other shows others our love for God, and our love for God and God’s love for us indefinitely connects us together.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble of hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness of danger or sword? …No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:35, 37-39)
Hope is our energy.
We don’t have to live this life alone. There are times when friends and family can help during difficult times. There are other times, however, that the only help we have is our HOPE. A hope in Christ. A hope knowing that nothing can separate us from God’s love. A hope that knows that God has his loving hand on every part of our lives. “This hope we know will carry us through.”
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently…And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:24-25, 28)
The hope that we have will carry us through this temporary life with enough energy to face tomorrow, enough love to leave behind, and give us an endless joy in eternity.
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[i] Jason Ingram, “This Life,” SongLyrics, http://www.songlyrics.com/the-afters/this-life-lyrics/. (All song references in this post are taken from this source.)
[ii] The Afters, “This Life,” written by Jason Ingram, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLhu-T8OBEA.
[iii] Gretchen Rubin, “The Years Are Short,” YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KktuoQwb3vQ.