Gwydyr Rd, Crieff, UK, PH7 4BS

A few days ago I helped to conduct the funeral of a man of incredible hope. His name was Ken. He had suffered for some years from a degenerative illness that slowly ebbed away at the quality of his life and health. Yet through all the time of his illness I never heard a murmur against his God – rather he spoke inspiringly of his hope. A hope so real that it was not to be compared to the sufferings he was going through nor dimmed by the approach of death.

I have tried to put my mind into the mind of a person who doesn’t have this hope and mostly come up with a sense of the waste of life, its purposelessness and despair.

Some possible alternatives include just not thinking about it – ignore the issue and act like it isn’t there  – but this is like turning your back on the morning sun only to find that in your sunset years there it is in front of you!

Or to imagine that the loved one has gone into the soil and become part of the flowers and lovely things of the Earth in which we live. Sweet nonsense that does not mask the pit of despair – hopeless.

By utter contrast Ken’s hope of the Scriptures, made his funeral just the closing of a chapter in his life – when the next page is turned we see the coming of Jesus, the putting on of immortality, the presence of angels, and the life eternal.  So where is death’s sting? Ken just closed their eyes in sleep for the great wakening up morning. What a hope!

Someone might say – Isn’t this resurrection talk also sweet nonsense?

I have two things to reply to that.

First – Show me what you have that is better!

Secondly, Ken’s hope was not based on wishful thinking – it is based on mercy – the mercy and compassion of the God of Hope. And that is based in the historical facts of the life of One who walked amongst us and revealed the character and heart of God. There can be no greater or more solid basis for hope than the grace and mercy of the heart of the God of Heaven.

I commend Ken’s hope to you.