John Newton’s stirring hymn ‘Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken’ finishes triumphantly:
Savior, if of Zion’s city,
I through grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity,
I will glory in Thy Name.
Fading is the worldling’s pleasure,
All his boasted pomp and show;
Solid joys and lasting treasure
None but Zion’s children know.
I don’t know about you, but I often find this difficult to believe.
It’s incredibly hard to trust that our hope is solid and lasting — more so than even the most alluring pleasures and absorbing concerns of life here and now.
Even in those time when I have looked most longingly to the future that God has in store — when I’ve been sick or struggling with sin (my own or others) or facing disappointment — I think lots of my hoping has been thoroughly negative.
Such ‘negative hope’ consists largely in wanting to escape, to get away, not to be bound by this body or these circumstances.
In contrast, the picture Newton’s hymn paints is much more positive — solid and real.
This is resurrection hope!