Ten Reasons Why You Must Not Give Up
Reason #1: Something Good Is HappeningWhen it seems like nothing good is happening in our lives, we learn that something good is happening. Though everything seems to be going wrong, in the same breath, we can say that everything is going right. We see this in the first followers of Jesus as they discover the empty tomb. It is possible for something radically good to be happening in your life, even though you may not yet realize it.
Reason #2: You Are Freed From Your Greatest EnemyGod does not have to do something wonderful in our lives to give us hope; rather, he has to undo something. God has undone our greatest enemy. Death is the greatest offense to humanity. As the disciples discover what God has undone through several critical pieces of evidences, they realize that God did much more than merely rewind life. God undoes death. Hope must not be based on what God has done in your life, but on what he has undone.
Reason #3: You Are LovedBy considering the ancient Greek view of how the gods showed affection to humans, we realize how revolutionary Jesus’ love for us was. We come to understand that God gave his heart of love to us. The fact of God’s love is presented as a powerful reason for hope.
Reason #4: Someone Is Standing Up for YouHere we learn that the word “resurrection” literally means “to stand up.” This has vast and profound implications for us. The resurrection means that someone is always standing up for us, no matter how bad life gets. One can never say that he is without hope, so long as one person is standing up for him.
Reason #5: You Are Released from SorrowJesus “stands up” in the middle of Mary’s sorrow. Though nothing else was able to release Mary from the grip of sorrow, when Jesus stood up in her condition, she was released. We learn how Jesus restores her shattered identity and transforms her sorrow into mission.
Reason #6: You Are Released from FearJesus “stands up” in the middle of the disciple’s fear. Again, when Jesus stands up, they are released from fear. Various kinds of fear are examined and we learn about the disciple’s specific struggle and how it relates to our lives. We also learn how Jesus helped them to cope with their fear and how he was able to change their fear into joy.
Reason #7: You Are Released from DoubtJesus “stands up” in the middle of Thomas’ doubt. We learn that Thomas’ doubt was caused more by hurt than from intellectual issues. In the same way, the root cause of our doubt is examined. We learn how Jesus deals with our hurt and doubt through his resurrection. Doubt is changed into faith because of Jesus’ stand.
Reason #8: Your Future Is Not FailureOnce again, we learn that Jesus “stands up” in the middle of the disciple’s failure. He changes their failure into success. Jesus’ resurrection “passed the limits of possibility.” Without pain, there would be no hope. Hope needs a struggle. We must not miss the miracle when it happens. Success is a fruit of the resurrection. Finally, we realize that there is one endeavor we can do which will never fail.
Reason #9: Your Purpose Is RestoredAs Jesus restored Peter, we learn that he can restore us. Though restoration is painful, Jesus’ makes it safe for us. In a breathtaking scene, we learn that Jesus turns our worst moments into our most glorious. The thing that we were ready to call it quits over, God uses as his starting point.
Reason #10: You Are Essential“Jesus is more glorious than you think—and so are you.” We learn how essential each person is. Envy is discussed at length. We learn about when we are in danger of envy and how Jesus fights against it. Jesus calls us to latch onto him with all we have, rather than fix our eyes on the fortunes of another. We have hope because we are essential.