Why do you get out of bed every morning? What motivates you to get going every day? Is it your job? Is it a hobby? I want you to consider that if your motivation is not Jesus you are greatly missing out. Consider Jesus’ own words: “The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus promised an abundant life, but how do you get it? Know for certain that it is not measured in money or possessions, but in hope. Proverbs 10:28 says, “The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.” Let us consider this further:
- The Hope of the Righteous. When the Proverbs speak of the righteous, they are not describing a perfect person but a blameless person. They are not righteous because they are good people, but because they have received God’s righteousness. The New Testament makes it clear that this righteousness is received from Christ “by grace through faith, not a result of works” (Eph 2:8-9). As a result, the righteous have hope in this life and in the next life because they know they will be resurrected just as Christ was (1 Cor 15). The righteous also have joy knowing that their work in this life is not in vain, but is profitable for this life and the next. God blesses Christians by showering them with joy as a companion of hope. This is only possible through Jesus Christ and a fitting reminder at Easter.
- The Expectation of the Wicked. When the Proverbs speak of the wicked, they describe a morally sinful person who refuses to change their sinful behavior. The wicked are enslaved to and blinded by pleasure. Their actions are determined by self-indulgence and the desire to get all they desire. Because they do not submit to God, they have no hope. Having no hope, they live each day in expectation of the next moment of pleasure. They do not want to consider the next life, they want their best life now. As a result, they dread death because death is the end of all that they know. Easter is a stark reminder to the wicked that there is more than this present life.
- Hope vs. Expectation. In 1 Samuel 12:21, the prophet Samuel said, “Do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.” They are empty because they do not satisfy and they do not produce hope. This is why Jesus instructed us to lay up treasure in heaven and not earth (Matt 6:19:24). Do you have hope or do you live a life of fearful expectation? On this Resurrection Day, turn your life over to Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow morning, before you get out of bed, ask yourself: “What is motivating me to enter into this day?” If it is money, job, family, or friends you are missing out on something greater. If anything other than Jesus is your motivation, you will not have hope and joy. But, if Jesus is your motivation, you can enjoy money, job, family and friends and find hope for the day.