It is precisely because Jesus died and rose again that I can have hope to be other than I am. For what could I pray if there was no hope that my sin has been conquered? For what could I pray if Jesus did not rise and demonstrate that sin and death are vanquished? What hope have I without the Cross and the empty tomb?
For my generation, I would also offer the hope that it is never too late to return and see the reality that you’ve been ignoring. I must constantly remind myself that there is a reality beyond the thing that consumes me at the moment. I must, as the psalmist reminds me, “prepare my heart” to be conscious of the eternal. I must not let good things become ultimate things in my life.
Perhaps my reader cannot relate to this, but I often feel that I am foolish and slow of heart to believe. In fact, I know that I am. Like those travelers to Emmaus, I can feel that God’s plan has been derailed and I can often think that I am the villain that derailed it. It is sometimes difficult to look past my failures to see God.
Humans are inherently religious, and when they deny the Creator, they will fasten on to something within creation and elevate it to an object of worship. In practical life, people who reject God will seek some substitute emotional fulfillment: power, profit, or pleasure. In intellectual life, they will seek some substitute to play the role of the divine in their thinking – the ultimate reality, the source of everything else. Worldviews are idols of the heart (Ezekiel 14:3)