Confidence-Even Now – Week of April 13, 2020

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 15:55-57

We take death too lightly. Why don’t we scream at funerals? Death is awful. Why are we satisfied with flowers and a nice memorial service? Why do we think that a tragic death of a young person deserves more sadness from us than a person who lived ninety-five years and died peacefully in her home? It shouldn’t be that way. All death is tragic. It was never supposed to be this way. We were not meant for death but for life. It should horrify us that any person should ever die. All death is tragic. And we should be beside ourselves at this terrible predicament in which we humans find ourselves.

Why is this? Could it be that we act this way because we think that we are defeated? We settle for this predicament of death. We settle for the mediocrity of 75-100 years on this earth when we were made for eternity. We settle.

I would imagine this is constant battle with children. Do they not give up easily? Do you not have to remind them to “Never give up!” What are you trying to accomplish with this encouragement? You are trying to build their confidence. So when they continue to grow they will continue to try. And even if they fail, you have taught them a valuable lesson.

But here we are as adults settling for death. This is not the attitude of St. Paul. Paul speaks bluntly to death. He is confident, even cocky. “Where, O death, is your victory?” Paul will not settle for death. Never. But notice the difference between the confidence we try to instill in our children and the confidence of faith. It is all on Christ and his resurrection victory. We win. We win in Christ. So “Where, O death, is your sting?” You can’t have me and you never will. I might die but that death will be a gate to life.

This is the confidence we need right now. Not a reckless confidence that does not listen to CDC orders, but a deeper confidence which believes that all will be right (even if it gets worse). This world has produced great horrors and God has gotten his people through all of them. We have every right to be confident, even in the face of death.

Heavenly Father,
Instill in us the confidence of St. Paul so that we never settle for anything less than the perfect life your Son earned for us with cross and resurrection.
In His Name we pray, Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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