With Christ as our life we live in confidence both in life and in death. Confidence because the Resurrection in person lives in us and confidence because the end of our life is a new Beginning.
With Christ as our life we live in confidence both in life and in death. Confidence because the Resurrection in person lives in us and confidence because the end of our life is a new Beginning. The effect of our lives today is to create new life where it has faded or disappeared.
A recent news paper article summarized research that showed that “Enjoying simple pleasures and having an optimistic outlook reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by about half, regardless of factors such as diet, exercise and smoking.”
Why are we not not surprised?
Simple pleasure and an optimistic outlook are not always easy to come by. In the United States there are thousands of newly qualified young people who cannot get jobs. This makes it hard to live, let alone be optimistic. And it means that they are unable to pay off the large debt they incurred to get their education. In Australia Establishment figures urge the poor to go and get a job. But there are far fewer jobs than there are people.
Becoming a follower of Jesus does not guarantee an easy life. But having a life that is Jesus gives us an edge over those who have made a life out their striving and circumstances. Jesus said, ‘In the world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world.’ It was Jesus who was resting and Jesus who had authority over circumstances as He lay at peace in the rear of the boat, while the disciples frantically tried to stop the boat from sinking. The recently executed and reformed drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran experienced peace at the hour of their deaths. Our privilege is to harbor this peace in our daily living.
One of the first things Jesus said to His disciples following His resurrection was ‘Peace be with you.’ He had secured our eternal peace and established Himself as our Peace in the hurly-burly of life.
But Jesus is more than a refuge in difficulty. He is a friend who releases joy and laughter into hearts, families and work places. We can be attached to a conceptual Jesus or a real Jesus. This is why we need to live in Him and make Him our life, rather than be mere adherents of Christianity.
In Jesus we can live a simple life and have sufficient. In Jesus we can be assured that our life will improve. With Jesus as our life, our optimism can be based on a reality that is better than self-talk and wishful thinking. We can know that for every death there will be a resurrection. We can be cheerful because we are living in He who is Cheer. We are loved because we are enfolded in He who is Love Himself.