To many people, Easter is just another family holiday, and to some, it may even be a time of stress and drama. However, Easter can change how we view just about everything in life.
For those seeking hope amidst some of the most difficult trials of life, Easter should be a tremendous source of hope!
The hope of Easter matters whether you are facing a dead marriage, terminal illness, or an unbreakable habit. The hope of Easter matters if you are crushed by the weight of betrayal, depression, or grief. The hope of Easter matters when you feel despair about your future, family, or faith.
If God can raise people from the dead, there is hope that He can help you through your situation. When we grasp the reality of the resurrection, we find four ways Easter brings hope to our everyday lives.
1. Easter gives me hope that God is loving towards me.
When we are experiencing trials in life, we can doubt the goodness of God. We may think, “If God loved me, He would stop this unwanted divorce, chronic addiction, or life-threatening illness.”
However, while that mindset is easy to slip into, Easter reminds us that God is a loving God, who came to us in love. Jesus said it this way: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
Easter is the greatest demonstration of God’s love, and it’s far better than simply getting an easier or less painful life here on earth. Our confidence in the love of God is the starting point of hope.
2. Easter gives me hope that God is just to me.
The justice of God demands that He punishes all sin, and this means no wrong deed will go unpunished. As sinful people, this would be a dreadful reality except that the resurrection changes this story completely. Because of Christ’s death on the cross for our sin, we are assured of forgiveness as part of this new resurrection reality.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. – Romans 5:1-2
We may be tempted to think that our trials are God’s way of punishing us for our sins, but Easter paints a different picture. Our sins are already paid in full if we’ve accepted the forgiveness of Christ by faith!
Our trials are not God’s way of punishing us. Instead, they are allowed by God to help us mature and grow. So, we can find hope in being completely forgiven and right with God.
3. Easter gives me hope that God is working in me.
One of the joys I have in counseling is watching people change as God brings healings to hurts, habits, and relational strife. Most often, people start by focusing on their problems and seeking solutions to some difficulties that they face. Those who change the most will shift their focus from finding answers to their difficult questions to asking how to honor and please God through this trial.
This shift is illustrated in a resurrection reality found here: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. – Colossians 3:1-2
Because of the resurrection of Christ, we have the possibility of thinking in new ways about our problems and establishing new priorities for life. In our trials, we can try to figure out ways to escape, or we can allow God to work in us, shifting our perspective from rescuing ourselves to honoring God. Just as God the Father, allowed Jesus to experience the trial of the cross, He often allows trials that accomplish His purpose in us and in others around us.
God is at work even when we don’t understand what He is trying to accomplish. Easter is a reminder to not lose hope because God is using the trials of life to change us and others.
4. Easter gives me hope that God is coming for me.
Every trial seems to outwear its welcome. Whether your trial is a lingering health difficulty, financial uncertainty, or relational distance, we long for the end to the pain. Just as Jesus came back to life, He is coming again for those who trust Him and have received the forgiveness of sins by faith.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” – Col 3:3-4
When we believe the message of Easter, we too experience a death, burial, and resurrection that will culminate in being united with God the Father for all of eternity. No matter what trial we are facing here on earth, the same God that brought Jesus to life will complete the work He started in us when He comes for us.
Easter gives us hope that God hasn’t forgotten us. Even in the worst possible earthly outcomes, we can find hope in the eternal life that the resurrection provides for all who trust God by faith.
Rather than focusing on the ham, easter eggs, or family stress that this week so often brings, take some time to remember and share how Easter brings hope to our trials and peace to our souls!
So pointed and encouraging. Easter can help us to Seek ways to honor Him.
I think you meant that our trials are NOT God’s way of punishing us in section 2.