My good friend Jon Lunde does a lot of counseling with people who are going through many kinds of challenges. Through the years, he has learned that the best way to begin all his counseling sessions, no matter what the primary issue may be, is to ask the person, “Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead?” The answer to that question will frame the entire way we deal with whatever life brings our way.

If Jesus rose from the dead, then we can always have hope and the assurance of victory over even the worst circumstances — even death. In the resurrection of Christ, God “has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). Sin, sickness, mental or physical illness, addictions, shame from our past, relational strife, war, pandemics, inflation, corrupt governments, ruthless leaders, financial hardship — are all tragic symptoms of the fall, but because Jesus rose from the dead, none of these things should lead us to despair. By faith and union with Christ, his resurrection is our resurrection.

Because Jesus became truly human, he not only represents us in his life and death, but in his resurrection as well. As C. S. Lewis said, “The man in Christ rose again, not only the God. That is the whole point.” If the man in Christ rose again, then we were raised with him and are able to walk in joy, hope, and newness of life, even in the darkest times. We have nothing to fear because Jesus is alive!