I have the hope of eternal life that has been given to me as a gift from God. Once I was dead in my sins and trespasses but now Jesus has freed me from the law of sin and death by taking my punishment and now, I am justified in him.
- Reflections on Romans 8 -
We live in a time full of uncertainty. None of us are sure what the future holds with Covid-19, no matter who we are. Young or old this is a very stressful time. It can be hard during these times to be hopeful, especially when there isn’t really an end in sight to all of this. Yet as Christians there is a hope we have 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” can take away from us1. Nothing that this situation throws at us can take us away from this hope we have in Christ.
In March, just before lockdown started, I was still in my last year of school and I had just been interviewed for my gap year with SU Scotland. I was very stressed with all that was going on. Were we going to be in church on Sunday? Are the schools going to remain open? Will the exams go ahead? As the week went on, church was cancelled, an announcement came saying that the schools would be shut until summer and then the exams were cancelled. One by one everything I was looking forward to about this year was cancelled. For the next few months, I spent my time playing computer games, making websites, watching films and reading my Bible. At the same time, I was frustrated, thinking about how much better this year would have been if it had gone to plan.
But even though this year hasn’t been great, I am very glad to be a Christian in these times. It gives me hope of something greater than all of this. It gives me certainty in these times of uncertainty. I have the hope of eternal life that has been given to me as a gift from God2. Once I was dead in my sins and trespasses but now Jesus has freed me from the law of sin and death by taking my punishment and now, I am justified in him.
That’s a great hope isn’t it? It’s a hope we can be certain of. Yet in this world we still struggle with our current circumstances, and eternal life can seem miles away from us. Paul says in Romans 8 verse 18 that “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”. I wish I always had this same kingdom mindset that Paul has here. It can be difficult to keep this mindset when things are tough. Yet it is true. Covid-19, lockdown and whatever else is thrown at us will be nothing compared to what we will have in eternal life. This is very encouraging to know. And God works everything for the good of those who love him3. So although life may not always be fun, or even good. Ultimately God works for the ultimate good of Christians. There may be hard times in between now and that good, but God will get us there for if God is for us, then who can be against us?4 That’s great motivation to keep on going with life isn’t it? Even when its hard, we need to keep on running the race. Because there will be a day where we will be with Jesus.
The next few months will probably not be easy. But with this hope that we have; with this certainty that can’t be taken away from us, lets keep on going. Covid-19 and restrictions can’t touch our salvation, and nothing will cancel our eternal life. When we finish the race, it will be well worth the wait and suffering we have gone through to get there.
Gap Year 2020-21
1 - Romans 8:38-39
2 - Ephesians 2:8
3 - Romans 8:28
4 - Romans 8:31