“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19/KJV).
Well from all my readings of St. Paul’s epistles I should conclude that he was not unhappy about having become a Christian. Although he was going through many pressures, hardships and persecutions he did glory in the salvation he had found in Jesus Christ. In Jesus he had discovered the answer to personal dilemmas (cf. Romans 7) and to religious questions and problems he had experienced.
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Philippians 3:7+8/KJV).
In spite of all the difficulties he had been experiencing since he had become a believer in Jesus Christ, he was very happy about being a Christian. Knowing Jesus Christ and coming to know him better was great gain to him. As a main goal of his life he wanted to win Christ.
But why does he make this strange statement in 1 Corinthians 15:19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Did he still at times get overwhelmed by his timely sufferings? This could be a possible explanation. Facing hardships, his hope in an afterlife in the presence of God became more important to him.
But let’s have a closer look at 1 Corinthians 15. Paul argues about the resurrection of the dead. It is part of the gospel that Jesus was raised from the dead. Similarly believers one day will be raised from the daead.
Paul says without the resurrection our faith would be in vain. The resurrection to be with God is the final prove that believing in Jesus does make us acceptable to God.
“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ is not raised your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:16+17/KJV).