It has taken me a while to write this, because a part of me sits motionless . . . waiting for my own response. A part of me mourns, as so many millions of lives are wrecked and destroyed by cancer. A part of me cries with the parents of newly-diagnosed children, and the life with diabetes that lies ahead. A part of me still waits...
In the past five years, my family has seen anything but normalcy. With every diagnosis has come a cold slap of reality: though our minds couldn't fathom life becoming more difficult, it could. Three Type Ones in three years. Oh, and then the cancer bomb fell. New diseases, new realities, new statistics, new challenges, new nightmares . . . Our life compared to others’ lives can seem so unfair! So how do I have a positive outlook despite these hard things? How can I smile and keep going in spite of all these challenges? This page is the best I have to offer: the reason for the hope that I have and want to share with you.
My hope lies beyond this life. Instead of life with cancer and T1 being a cage that holds me, hope for me is a series of daily choices based on what I believe and how I live. Hope comes from knowing that this life is temporary; it comes from knowing that the pain we experience now won’t exist in the eternity that God has planned for believers.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Why does eternity give me hope?
Eternity is an incredible source of hope, and truths about the next life bring hope to me for two reasons. First, God promises the end of suffering, loss, and pain while also giving a new body and a timeless future with Him. Second, the blessings of eternity can be previewed in this life by those individuals that have a personal relationship with God. This special relationship is made possible by Jesus Christ, and brings comfort and peace during the hardships and difficulties of this life.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
How can eternity give you hope?
As you read these words, I sincerely want you to know more about experiencing the hope that I have. Here are some simple truths that shape what I believe and are essential components of a relationship with God, from the Bible.
Now I’m not talking about generic hope or faith that comes from religion, spirituality, performance, etc. Real faith must be based on truth from a concrete source, not only what I believe or think. To me only the Bible works as that basis or starting point for knowing truth. So what does the Bible say about having a relationship with God? Well, there are a lot of places that the Bible talks about this relationship, but let’s make it simple.
Understanding this relationship begins by understanding who Jesus Christ is and what He did for you and me. The Bible says in I Corinthians 15:3-5 “For I [Paul] delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures…”
Jesus Christ is the focal point of faith. Jesus said of Himself in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
So how do people like you or I “come” to Jesus Christ? The simple and wonderful truth is that you and I begin a personal relationship with God when two things happen.
First, we must acknowledge that we are sinners. Now we usually think of ourselves as good, upright, and commendable people. But if we compare our lives with God’s standard, we quickly see that we don’t measure up to His perfectness. In the simplest sense, telling a lie is sin because it goes against the truthfulness that God commands. Seeing our sin the way God sees it and turning from it is repentance. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…”
Second, we must place our belief in the blood of Jesus Christ to forgive our sins. When Jesus died on the Cross, He submitted Himself to the punishment for your sins and mine. Although we deserve eternal punishment in Hell for breaking God’s law, Jesus Christ offers a free gift, salvation, to all people. His death on the Cross was the substitute for the punishment that every person deserves. By repenting of our sin and accepting Jesus Christ’s free gift of forgiveness, we enter a lifelong relationship with God that is made possible by Jesus Christ.
These are important truths for all of us. Knowing Jesus Christ makes all the difference not only now, but most importantly in eternity. If you have questions, you will not be disappointed with the Bible’s answers. Both the book of John and Romans are a great place to start reading and learning.
In conclusion, hope is an incredible thing. It can take impossible and overwhelming situations and transform them into opportunities to thrive.