Written by Toby Baxley
Question: What is our only hope in life and death?
Answer: That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ. 
Many times, I have used these words from the New City Catechism to try to calm down an ill-tempered child. Lately, however, I’ve had to remind myself of this truth. My efforts on both fronts, sadly, haven’t always been successful. Like Chris mentioned in his sermon, I have also experienced the stages of concern, sadness, and anger over the trial that has come to our collective doorstep. I’ve found myself depressed as everything that was “normal” has now been kicked out from under me. I’m sure you’ve felt the same way, to one degree or another. No matter how this trial has affected you, there’s no doubt that it has. So, what is our anchor point for weathering this storm? What or who will help us maintain our buoyancy as the waves batter our ships.
That is easy to say and hard to live. But live it you must! Sustaining faith is not a “one-and done” proposition. Sustaining faith is a constant, conscious choice to trust in the loving kindness of God, no matter what.
In the words that I have left I want to take an Ebenezer Scrooge-like view of Jesus. No! I don’t mean “bah humbug!" I mean a Jesus-past, Jesus-present, and Jesus-future examination of the One Who Is, Who Was, and Who Is to Come.
Let us survey the wondrous cross. When the winds and waves of doubt and fear beat against us, let us hold fast to the One who died for us; The One who saw us in our depravity and helplessness and gave us life for us. He bore our sins in His body as he hung on the tree. We had racked up an insurmountable debt against a holy God. Every sin of every believer was placed on Christ as he endured the wrath of God on our behalf. If your trust is in his atoning death on your behalf, then all his righteousness has been credited to your account. That’s good news to comfort your weary soul!
In his book Spurgeon’s Sorrows, pastor Zack Eswine writes, “In this fallen world, sadness is an act of sanity, our tears the testimony of the sane.”  It is reasonable, even expected, to be sad or depressed. This is a legitimate trauma, the details of which change at a head-spinning pace. Where can you turn when waves of sadness overwhelm you? How about the one whom the Bible refers to as “the Man of sorrows?” Jesus is acquainted with our grief and uniquely qualified to walk through it with us. When we are in the furnace of affliction, Jesus is in the fire as well. We have a Great High Priest who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Draw near. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death, resurrection, and ascension, He comforted them by telling them that He was going to prepare a place for them and that He would come again that they would be where He was. (John 14:2-3) That promise remains for us as well. Jesus is coming back for his Bride! Like Chris said yesterday, instead of, “I can’t wait until this is over,” say, “I can’t wait until Christ returns.”
The psalmist Asaph sang, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)
This is a picture of contentment as creation keeps groaning.
This is gospel sanity in a world gone mad.
Lord Jesus, come quickly!
 Kathy Keller, ed., The New City Catechism: 52 Questions and Answers for Our Hearts and Minds, The Gospel coalition (Wheaton: Crossway, 2017), 16–17.
 Zack Eswine, Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression, 2015, 30.
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