April - 18 - Thursday

At that time you were without Christ, ... having no hope and without God in the world.
Ephesians 2:12

The First Officer of the container ship “Elma Trees” experienced what constitutes hope. He was the sole survivor of a shipping catastrophe that happened in 1981 off the coast of the Bermudas. “The most important thing was to hope,” he said later. “I simply had to hope that I would be rescued the next day.” Again and again he thought of his parents and his home.

The “Elma Trees” had capsized after engine failure and sunk within a short time. The crew failed to succeed in casting off the two inflatable life rafts. He himself had fortunately put on his life jacket, when he was drawn down into the deep with the sinking ship. With a great effort he managed to surface and cling on to an upside down floating lifeboat.

“What happens when you die?” I thought. “You will fall in the water and sharks will eat you.

That was the only time when I almost gave up, but hope quickly returned, for it was a gloriously bright day. The wind wasn’t as strong as on the previous day.” The sailor was rescued by a helicopter.

For each one of us the time comes when we must die. What follows? No-one can evade the question as to the afterlife, for people do not simply cease to exist. The Bible testifies this clearly. We must put things right with God in our lifetime by taking our guilt to the Saviour, Jesus Christ and accepting Him by faith. Only then do we have a certain hope for eternity, and that gives us now a reason to rejoice.