“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
(I Corinthians 15:19 NKJV)
I must be honest, this is my least favorite sentence in the Bible. I dislike it because it is so necessarily right, yet it is the one thought of which I want St. Paul to be wrong. Quite simply, I want philosophy, science, economics, intellect, and ideas to be the solution to the human problem. I want humanism melded with a handful of Christian principles to bring complete happiness.
Believe me I have traveled far down the path of using the mentioned list of things to build my own righteousness, conveniently picking and choosing Scripture to support my claims. Yet, if Christ did not walk out of that tomb by the Power of the Almighty, then we really are the most pitiable, because simple questions will crash our existence. If the world is our only joy why sacrifice any piece of it? Why give up any advantage over others or any guilty pleasure if that advantage or pleasure is all we will ever know? Why stand against wrong if the Right is not permanent?
But thanks be to God that Jesus Christ did walk out of that grave. In His resurrection we can trust that Joy is of eternal substance. In His Victory, we can trust that pleasure only grows as our salvation is cultivated by the great Gardner. In His ascension to Heaven we can know completely that Right is always Right, Yes is always Yes, and Grace is always.
All of that said, since Christ did raise up out of that grave, our hope is an enteral thing. It is in this life and in the next. Being such, every happy moment, every smile, every laugh, and every adventure will be known for all eternity. Would I be wrong to say that we do our best when we live in the Good of God now, because this is the only Thing that lasts?