I’ve been preaching a lot on the topic of hope recently. It is a theme which I consider amongst the most beautiful in the world.
This past Sunday was Easter, and I taught a message titled: ‘A Living Hope’ (listen to it here).
In the sermon I spoke about Viktor Frankl and his book Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he says that life only has meaning if you have a hope which suffering and death cannot take away from you.
Interestingly – and perhaps tragically, however, it is not clear to me that Frankl ever discovered a hope worthy of that description.
This is the living hope which we have in Jesus, which Peter talked about in 1 Peter 1:3-9, speaking to people who were in fact suffering. It is a hope which is imperishable, unfading and kept in heaven for us – that’s how secure it is.
It is only that kind of hope which can enable us to live now and face any difficult which life might throw at us.
I recently came across a quote from CS Lewis: at the end of The Last Battle, the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, he says that for those of us who have received the gift of eternal life, when we get to the end of our lives here on Earth, we will realize that they were merely the title and the cover page, and then at last we will begin Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on Earth has ever read: which goes on forever, in which every chapter is better than the one before.
I don’t know about you, but that gives me goosebumps. I long for that day, and I desire to live with that perspective.
“And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
CS Lewis, The Last Battle