What drives you to do the things you do? What makes pain, suffering, and affliction worth it? Hope does. Hope drives people–and it frees them to endure much so long as what’s on the other side is–at least to us–glorious.
When Kevin Durant wont the MVP recently many were touched by the humility of it all. He thanked the team, coaches, family, essentially everyone but himself. It was the antithesis of “I earned this because I’m great” and more “Everyone else makes me great.” Most touching of all were the words to his mom. Below is part of that speech (fast forward to the 2:54 mark if you want to watch the specific attention he gives his mom). It might be smart to keep a tissue nearby.
As I said to the 10:45 service–if you can watch that and not tear up, you’re a robot. The world, or at least the world most of us live in, respects parents who go out of their way so their children can have a wonderful life (I mean, you’d be crazy not to)–but what about the Christian? How will a Christian–saved from death and restored to life–consider her suffering so that others might be found in Christ? I find myself more often than not simply trying to conveniently bring Jesus along with me in my life–rather than remembering that he is my life.
When we read in Colossians 1:24-27 that Paul rejoiced in suffering for the church we learn of a deeper impact–more than just “I hope that the Colossians become good people.” The hope of Jesus being formed and redeeming people drove Paul to minister and suffer as he did. It encouraged him through his pain and brought him closer to the Savior–and he could truly say “I rejoice in this.”
That’s hard for me. I think that’s hard for us as a church family (I’m speaking to my Oaks folks–I’m sure every other church does this just fine). When “Christ in you” is the greatest mystery of mysteries, it changes things. But if we forget that truth, or when we wander from that truth, our focus changes to “Me in me–the hope of glory.” It either becomes about us and not God, about working harder, about making things easy, or the myriad other things that happen.
Jesus died to save sinners, of which I am the worst. And that’s good news. And that news should give us life forever; and the endurance to suffer through what we have on this earth because we know that what will be is so much better than what is, but wasting what is prohibits others from enjoying what will be.