“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” –C. S. Lewis
As we get closer to the Thanksgiving season we’re reminded of a lot of things. Maybe Thanksgiving for you is Turkey and family. For others its football and putting up Christmas stuff way too early, and no it’s not ok to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. Yeah, you know who you are. There are so many traditions and good things to look forward to this Thanksgiving season, but can those temporary things become a distraction to the eternal focus?
This past week I saw an urgent message come across from my sister and brother-in-law about one of their youth group kids. This 18 year old boy had been in a car accident and was being airlifted to the closest hospital. As I prayed with my family and in silence that day I was reminded not only how short life is, but how glorious the next one is. The next day the message came through from my brother-in-law that the boy had died at the hospital.
Some may think, “Too short.” Others may think “Why would God allow this?” Sitting there on the edge of my emotions God put a thought into my head. What has God promised Christians about eternity? You see this young teenager had accepted Christ as his savior this past fall. When he died he instantly came face to face with his maker, and in that moment everything became clear. He will live with God for eternity with no sorrow, pain, tears, or suffering ever again.
So during this Thanksgiving season, I want to ask a question of us all. Do we have hope in what comes next after this life? You see Jesus didn’t promise us health and wealth in this life. He promised us that this life would matter for eternity, good or bad. If we have accepted that Jesus died for our personal sins, and He rose again from the grave defeating sin then we have eternal life with him when we die. How wonderful that is and how grateful that must make us feel. We will be with him forever. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” If we reject that truth then we’re told in Scripture that in the next life we will experience torment forever. I pray that this Thanksgiving season you can be reminded as Christians that God has our back no matter what, in life and in death. Let that motivate us to tell people the good news of Jesus so that they won’t experience eternal suffering after this life.