I’ve been impressed with my Christian brothers and sisters lately. The world is confronting it’s mortality because of a new virus, has seen much wealth disappear from a crashing stock market, and is adapting to government-ordered closures of schools and businesses that have already cost many millions of jobs and may cost millions more. But the Christians in my life have faced these challenges which may yet become calamities –though we pray that, in God’s mercy, we will avert the worst– with peace, equanimity, and a serene joy which is an encouragement to behold and a blessing to the world. This is how Christ’s church is salt and light in a fallen world, it is one way that the special grace we receive by faith alone in Christ alone, becomes, for the world, common grace. In other words, God’s love and grace, is often mediated to the world through his church. That too is a cause for joy and praise.
For the Christian, our only comfort, in life and in death is in our faithful savior, Jesus Christ. And this is based on Christ’s permanent victory over sin and the wages it brings which is death. That is how Paul and all Christians along with him can say to, “O death, where is your victory, O death, where is your sting?” Here is the passage:
1 Corinthians 15:54-58
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
We have trouble in this world, yes, but Christ has overcome the world and we are united to Him. Therefore even in adversity we can rejoice and not only that, we can –and must– encourage, edify, support, and lift-up those around us. We do this by the example of lives conformed to the image of Christ, we do this by loving our neighbors, and we do this, most of all, by spreading the Gospel, which is the only basis for salvation and for the peace we enjoy. That’s why Paul, after rejoicing in Christ’s victory and ours, exhorts us to be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord. What a pleasant and satisfying work it is that pleases our God and which we are assured is never in vain.
Take heart Christian. Storms may blow through our lives but they will never sweep us away. We are united in faith to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, may His name blessed now and forever.
—Elder Chris Buskirk