“In India, we have a saying: ‘Everything will be all right in the end.’  So, if it’s not all right, it’s not yet the end.”

So goes the response of the irrepressibly optimistic Sonny, the aspiring hotelier, to his dissatisfied guests in last year’s surprise hit movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  Though I assume it was entirely unintended, Sonny’s expression of confidence in the future reflects a sentiment that is very much at the heart of Christian hope and faith.

I don’t have to convince you that “it’s not all right” in this world.  Beyond the global concerns of numerous wars and regions of famine throughout the world, and national worries about violence, crime, and a struggling economy, our personal lives can sometimes be a total mess.  God does not provide Christians with exemption cards or pass chips that shield us from chronic illnesses, unemployment, broken relationships, betrayal, or mistreatment by others.  “In the world you will have tribulation,” (John 16:33).  You nailed that one, Lord!  This isn’t a “chance of rain – 40%” kind of prediction; it’s a given; Jesus practically promised that things are going to be tough.

We hurt.  We have disappointments, both in ourselves and in others.  We get discouraged.  We get tired.  Just when we start catching some wind in our sails, something or someone comes along and knocks the legs out from under us, resulting in a solid, mixed metaphoric kick in the gut.

But, we’re not there yet!

Scripture reminds us that “everything will be all right in the end.”  Granted, there are some days when those words come across like a toothless, impotent platitude that utterly fails to sooth the soul or dull the pain.  But, deep down I believe and know that one day, God is going to call a halt to all of this temporal nonsense, and suffering is going to be victoriously swallowed up by glory.

After His heads-up about life’s hardships, Jesus went on to supply the antidote for our anxieties.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” (Romans 8:18).

“So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” (II Corinthians 4:16-17).

I’ve got a room booked at the Best Eternal Celestial Hotel (John 14:1-3).  I can endure a few more bumps in the road along the journey, and I will patiently persevere while I’m waiting for check-in time to arrive!