Summary: What gives you hope when you have problems?
Good morning everyone. Have you ever wished that you were better at something? Maybe you see someone else with athletic ability - the way that person moves athletically, you wish you could do that. Or maybe it's the way someone can sing or play in instrument - why can't you do that? Or maybe it's in the area of the social world - why do some people seem to have so many friends and it's so easy for them, but it's not so easy for you?
And then there are the grades - some people seem to get the good grades and they don't need to try all that hard - why do you have to try so hard, and even when you do, it doesn't always turn out that well?
Have you ever wished you were better at something? Do you realize that there is a day when God will make you better at everything? On Judgment Day, Jesus promises to change you into perfect - mentally, physically, academically, emotionally, spiritually - you will be perfect, in every way, when Jesus changes you for the better.
Our reading for this week talks about that, how the Lord himself will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise.
What will it be like for you someday, to be perfect? To have eyes, and ears and arms and legs that all work perfectly? And your brain will work perfectly. And your soul will be perfect - you won't have a sinful nature that's always tempting you to do dumb things. What will that be like?
The Apostle Paul talks about you in 1 Corinthians says: So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body (that's you) that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
Right now, Paul says, here, you have a natural, weak, perishable body that is eventually buried into the ground because of the dishonor of death. But, this verse says, when Jesus returns, he will give you a supernatural body - a spiritual body - you will have power and glory and honor.
Our theme for this week is "reasons to have hope." Here is a major reason to have hope. When you are mad at yourself, when you are disappointed in yourself, when you are frustrated with yourself, you can have hope. Someday Jesus will raise you from all this and change you into perfect. When you're not healthy or not smart or not coordinated, when nothing is going right for you and a lot of it is your own fault, you can have hope, because someday Jesus, who died on the cross for your sins and rose again, will someday raise you from all this mess and change you into perfect.
The Apostle John wonders what it's going to be like - he gives us a hint when he (1 Jn. 1:3) says, "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
Are you ready to be like Jesus Christ someday, when he shares his glory and his honor and his power with you? The Apostle Paul says, "We will not all stay dead, but we will all be changed-- 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. The trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. Someday, Paul says, you will be clothed with immortality. What will you be like someday? Someday, you will be perfect. And because of that, you can have hope, every day, no matter what kind of day you are having. Let's pray:
Dear Lord Jesus, help us to remember that you will someday raise each one of us from the dead and change us into perfect. Keep our eyes on you and on your promises. Keep us always hopeful, even on those days when things aren't going our way. Amen.