Hope That Won’t Disappoint (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. —1 Corinthians 15:51-52
What do you look forward to? A new year? Warm weather? An upcoming life milestone? Anticipation—looking forward—is hope in what will come. But sometimes reality can fail to measure up to our expectations, leaving us deflated and disappointed.
Consider Paul’s enthusiastic anticipation here. Look! A mystery! This scriptural concept of mystery is the process of illuminating something that was once shrouded and hidden. Paul is laying out in plain view truth about our future that was not always seen in such clarity.
As believers in Christ, what future do we look forward to? A tremendous and amazing change, not exclusively for those who are still living nor for those who already sleep (have died). We all shall be changed.
When will this happen? In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
What will the trumpet announce? Revelation 11 describes the last trumpet (the seventh of seven) in this way: “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever’” (Revelation 11:15).
What will happen then? The dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
What kind of changes will we experience? Consider these awesome and thrilling details we know with certainty.
Instead of dwelling in perishable flesh and blood, ever subject to the decay and weakening effects of the fall, we will have an imperishable and immortal body. (1 Corinthians 15:50, 53)
We will no longer be waiting to see Christ but will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
The lingering struggle that believers have with indwelling sin will be finished, and we will be free to enjoy and worship God forever. (Romans 8:20-23, 30)
Tears, death, mourning, crying, and pain will be past, and all things will be made new. (Revelation 21:4-5)
Some things we anticipate may fail to measure up to our ideas, but if we fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ, we will never be disappointed.
What gives you the most hope in your daily life? Do you find yourself riding an emotional roller coaster of anticipation and disappointment because things you’re looking forward to fail to deliver real satisfaction?
How do God’s promises for the future change our life today? How can we keep this future hope in view even in the troubles of the present?