I was blessed beyond measure at our church service today. Encouraged and uplifted by the music and corporate worship, renewed and revived by the ferverent reminder to love one another, just all around blessed. It was as if in the midst of it the Lord was whispering to me, "Hope, there is hope, tell them that there is hope."
The truth is: there is hope, and there is always hope.
Lately, some horrible, life-changing things have been going on in the lives of people near and often dear to me. Two young wives diagnosed with aggressive cancers, one lost her brave battle after two-plus years of fighting, another's journey has just begun. A former professor lost his battle to cancer at 38. Others have buried children, dealt with sicknesses that have left loved ones permanently harmed, multitudes suffer silently through miscarriages and infertility. An economy has left others jobless, unable to pay bills, unsure how they will stay in their homes or feed their families.On top of that there are the "other-inflicted" wounds of murder, rape, and all kinds of violence that happen every day.
It's enough to leave one's head spinning. To make you want to hide under the covers and never come out. At times I am tempted to be overwhelmed. I hear news of suffering and start to become fearful, or wonder how someone will be able to "carry on" in such circumstances. And then I remember...
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship."
"28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."[l] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
There is reason to hope and a capacity for hope no matter the circumstances and it is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Again, no matter what you are going through there is Hope- hope in Jesus.
He who lived a life without sin and voluntarily died a death on the cross also rose from the dead, conquering the grave and is now in Heaven. He has promised that those who take the free gift of eternal life that he offers will be with him forever.
This world does not spin helplessly and hopelessly out of control. As difficult as it may be to understand at times, God is in control. He works all things out for his purposes, which are always good, regardless of how it may seem to us.
Would you ask him today to show you how is working everything for your good?
If you do not have the hope that comes from being In Christ, would you ask Him to make himself known to you?
Would you like to know God?