Today’s Challenges


By Russ Lawson

I was talking with a man today about some of his life goals. I told him many of those sounded good and someday, perhaps I would get to do some of the things he mentioned. He replied with the well know American cliché “Do it now, after all you only live once!”

Later in the day I reviewed that conversation and thought, “that’s really not a true statement.” The truth is that you only get one life here on this earth, but if you live a life obedient to God you get a much better second life!

Maybe that is what we have so many miserable and depressed people in our world today. They honestly believe that if they don’t get to experience everything they want before they die, their life will be a failure. They believe that they have missed the experience of “living fully.” The advertisers of this world make that claim everyday don’t they? If you don’t drive their car, drink their beer, travel on their mode of transportation or have not ended up at their destination, then you have not fully lived. They make their living trying to make you believe that you are missing out on something essential to your happiness.

It seems to me that most people in this world are miserable and depressed because they have lost hope of things ever getting better in their lives. They know they are not in the position to do or have all of the things the advertisers say they need to make them happy; therefore they are convinced that they are unhappy. They have forgotten the most important thing about hope! Hope that is true hope is about something entirely different. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 62:5, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”

If you are hoping against hope for something better, perhaps you need some direction as to what to hope for that really matters. The apostle Paul wrote to some folks who were having a “hope” problem. Listen to his word of encouragement: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep”, (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15).

Jesus said that he is the resurrection and life and for those who believe in him, for those who obey his word, you can have a second life. You can have a life that goes on forever with the son of God.

So what are you hoping for? What are you planning for? What is on your list of things to do before you die? If it’s not serving God, then you will “only++ live once.” Why? Because the second life is one you live with God. Oh, and just in case you are wondering, there is a “second death,” take a moment and ready Revelation 21:8 to find out more.

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