Hope in death? How is such a thing possible? Because if you are saved, you have the promise of a bright and glorious future with Christ. The Bible assures us that when we leave this body, we will be present with the Lord. ("We," of course, referring to those of us who are saved.) Unfortunately, the unsaved can also be confident of their future, for the Bible assures them of the horror awaiting them in Hell and then the Lake of Fire. There are only two choices for our future home. There is no in-between. The choice is Heaven or Hell.
What we, as Christians, can glean from this is that our confidence in the future can aid us in the present. Didn't Paul say the tribulations he faced were nothing compared to the glory awaiting him in Heaven? (Romans 8:18) It's incredible to me how much strength, stamina and even joy can be gained and displayed when we have something to look forward to.
For example, Jason and I are scheduled to visit the UK in less than two months. Jason, being the son of a travel agent, has seen much of the world. I, on the other hand, have seen very little, so the opportunity to visit a far and distant land is super exciting and motivating to me. The thought of speaking before these precious ladies on five separate occasions is both overwhelming and humbling. Daydreaming about the sights we'll see and the castles we'll visit keeps me working toward getting things in order. The desire to do and see much during our little time is a motivator for me to do everything I can to improve my health so I will have the strength and ability to keep going on little sleep and less than ideal circumstances for a girl who doesn't like to step out of her comfort zone. The anticipation of this trip has given me something exciting to set my sights on.
As wonderful as that is, my trip is not guaranteed. Lord willing, everything will work out according to plan, and the trip will be even better than I imagine. But we don't know what tomorrow holds. We can't even be certain there will be a tomorrow in this life. The Lord may return or may call us home through death. We have no promise of a tomorrow on this earth. We do, however, have the promise of a future home and an assurance that the moment we leave this body, we'll be present with God. Never alone. Never wandering about, trying to find our way. No, we will be with Him for all of eternity. And because of that, we can be confident in this life, knowing that nothing here can compare to what is awaiting us. We have something to look forward to, and that ought to keep us looking up and motivated to become the best we can be and do the most we can do before our time is up. Not that those things will save us but because we long to stand before God and hear Him say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."