1 Cor 15:19-20 "If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died."

Sometimes the world really makes me angry. I am tired of all the people who claim to be victims - not that there arenít a lot of victims, but I am tired of this endless stream of people claiming that because they are victims they are not responsible. If you take away the psychological gobbledygook - the argument boils down to life isnít fair, so I had to do what I did - to get even with life, or you might say - since life cheated me, I can cheat life. As said you might say that, but most people wouldnít because saying that would really make you look foolish.

The only way we can ever be cheated, is if someone or something is either smarter than we are, or more powerful that we are, or both. And if we were weak enough to be cheated, we have no hope of "getting even" for unless we are dramatically changed, we will always be weaker; and we will always be cheated.

The plain fact is that this life isnít fair. This life, speaking of the life in this world, is plagued with many evils, all the result of manís fall into sin, and manís sinful nature. 2 simple facts bring this to bear on all people:

1. we are all sinners, and we have fallen short of what God has commanded, no one is righteous, no not one. This is not a new situation, it has been this way since the 1st temptation, and it will continue this way, in this life, till this life is over.

2. the wages of sin is death. So, because of sin all die, and this life comes to an end. We are like grass, one day we flourish, the next we wither and die. There is no escape.

But the one thing the world, the flesh and the devil donít want us to hear about is this - that this life, is not the only life. The devil will let us hear that there is no escape, but he doesnít want us to hear about salvation, redemption or about the forgiveness of sin which comes in the blood of Jesus. Because of what Jesus has done for us on the cross, there is not need for escape, because not only are we redeemed, and forgiven, but we have been given a new life, and we are a new creation. The Resurrection isnít our hope for this life, that is the natural life under sin, death and the devil, the resurrection is our hope of everlasting life and victory over sin, death, and the devil.

Jesus is risen. [He is risen indeed] and our life is hid with God in Christ. We donít have to speak about the life, which is a gift of God, as to the fairness of it. For even our Life in Christ isnít fair, God doesnít give us what we deserve, for we could never earn forgiveness, salvation, or eternal life. Our life in Christ isnít fair, but it is good, more that we deserve, all that we need. Our life in Christ is grace - it is the free gift of everything we need. Our life in Christ is grace, because it is only by grace that we have the peace of God that passes all understanding.

It is grace, that in Christ has made us a new creation. It is grace, that in Christ has given us a new and everlasting life. It is hope, that clings to the good news that Jesus is risen from the dead, as our hope, that we too, when we die, by grace through faith, will rise from life, to life everlasting.

We donít have this hope for this world, for this world is passing away. This world will come to an end. This world will perish. And those whose hope has only been in this world will perish with it. And so God blesses us, not only with the Gospel that has called us to faith, but with the grace to tell others of the wonderful things that God in Christ has done.

God blesses Christians. This is not however a promise that Christians will always be successful, or wealthy, or influential. But God may give us these things to advance the Gospel. God often blesses us, that we might be a blessing to others. But the blessing is not a hope for this world, as much as it is a hope for the life which lasts. If you have found that God has blessed you, use His gifts, to give God glory, use his gifts to spread the gospel.

If you find that life is a challenge, remember that this life is passing away, and hope in this: God will not permit you to suffer beyond what you can bear, but his grace will always provide for all your needs. And as you hope in God, and trust in Him, your life will be a light that guides the way to the cross of Christ which is our hope of forgiveness, of peace with God, and our hope of the resurrection of the dead, and believers rising to life everlasting.

Be risen. God in Christ has made you a new creation. In grace through the forgiveness of sins, God has set you on your feet. Live as Godís resurrection people, always sharing with others the good news of Jesus dead for all our sins, and also, of Jesus risen.