I came across the following verse in a YouTube advertisement about christianity.
NIV 1 Corinthians 15:19
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
I do not understand what this actually means. Why must we of all people be the ones who are most pitied if we are to have hope in Christ? It particularly states that "if only for this life, we have hope in Christ ..." but wouldn't we have hope in Christ in our afterlife when we conclude that he and God actually exist (pursuant to the belief of Christianity)? Unless it is not strictly referring to the afterlife, but possibly reincarnation...? But, since the latter is not affirmed in the bible1 then maybe, a different type of rebirth, like spiritual rebirth or resurrection2 (though what spiritual rebirth in particular actually is, might be subject to interpretation; e.g. I view it as somewhat like accepting Christ from your heart or a pre-eminent equivalent therefrom).
Overall, the verse does not entirely make sense to me, albeit it sounds like a pretty powerful assertion.
I am aware that there is the mention of scriptures in 1 Corinthians3 but I do not know if these relate to the given statement. I know this also belongs to the early New Testament, but thus far, this has not helped me either. I would much appreciate it if somebody were to explain to me. For the sake of the Christianity Stack Exchange, my research into this has not extended beyond its scope; i.e. I have not fully read through sites or commentaries foreign to that site.
Another version of the verse is: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most miserable.