The fierce poet of the Middle Ages wrote, “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here,” over the gates of the lower world. The emancipated poets of to-day have written it over the gates of this world.
But . . . we must erase that apocalyptic writing, if only for an hour. We must recreate the faith of our fathers, if only as an artistic atmosphere. If, then, you are a pessimist . . . forego for a little the pleasures of pessimism. Dream for one mad moment that the grass is green. Unlearn that sinister learning that you think is so clear, deny that deadly knowledge that you think you know. Surrender the very flower of your culture, give up the very jewel of your pride, abandon hopelessness, all ye who enter here.
Some say my faith is no more than an illusion, and insist there is absolutely no scientific basis for it. Others claim that Jesus never existed, that he is no more than a myth. It’s all a fabrication.
If that is the case, I have a lot of questions…
How is it that this “illusion” has turned my life around? (And the lives of millions.) How in the world does it empower me to live with hope, to experience deep joy, and to walk through life with purpose and a song in my heart? How is it that the deeper I go into this “illusion” the richer my life becomes?
If Christ never existed, why do I find such satisfaction in prayer and praise? In studying His Word? Where does this power come from that helps me to love my enemies, to choose right over wrong, to forgive 70 x 7, to have a heart full of gratitude, to smile at storms, to keep getting up when I stumble, and to face death with confidence?
If this is all an illusion—what a fabulous illusion!
I think I’ll stick with it.
It sure beats anything I had when I tried to live life without Jesus.
In the midst of the suffocating self-love of our modern and postmodern culture, the Bible is clear that our real hunger is to know the one true God revealed in its pages. Only in doing so will we satisfy our cravings for security (faith), find the purpose for which we exist (hope), and be able to live free from slavery to self (love).
To meet these needs, we must return to the [God of the] Bible. It really is that straightforward.