Hope Main

HOPE

Hope means different things to different people.  In my experience, people that are hurting, just want to know that there will come a time when things will get better... that there will come a day when their pain will end... that somewhere down the road they won't feel so broken... or that there will come a day in the near future when they will just be able to feel again... period.

I like this definition of hope...

HOPE is more than just a word—
it's a state of being.
It's a firm belief that
even if you don't know how,
even if you don't know when,
God will come through
and better days are ahead.
Life sends rain...
Hope dances in the puddles
until the sun comes out again. 

 Rain on Me by Holley Gerth

If you are grieving... if you have experienced some sort of loss or are just dealing with stress and trials that seem to have no end in sight, I want to tell you there is hope.  You may not see it or feel it right now, but there is hope because of Jesus.  There will come a time, where you will move to the point of rebuilding and resolution.  You'll come to a point of stability and peace.  Your focus will shift from the past to the future.  You may feel like your heart and life are just one big gaping wound.  With God's help, and when you take the appropriate steps to help yourself, you will be able to close that wound.  You may always wear the scars, but they won't hurt any longer.  It is important to note that we must  make sure to deal with our grief...to clean out the wound so to speak... so we can heal properly.  No matter what the source of your grief or loss is, whether it is the result of death or divorce, illness or disability, mistreatment or abuse, or the loss of financial stability, things may never be the same in your life.  You will have to face what's called a "new normal."  It's a new path not of your choosing, but you will find your way on that new path.  God will give you strength and courage as you enter into your new reality.  If you ask him, He will go before you and light the way.  He will be your source of comfort, strength and peace.

He promises in Romans 8:28 that "all things work together for good for those that are called according to his purpose."  I write these things out of experience.  They are not, written by someone that hasn't walked in similar shoes.  I have seen God bring goodness out of darkness.  I have been in a place where I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I have been in that place where you don't know how you'll get through the day as the grief threatens to overtake you.  I promise you, no matter what you face, no matter what you are going through, there is hope and it is safe to trust and believe, that there will come a day when you will feel joy and happiness again.  Jesus can heal your hurts, bring good from bad, fill you with His peace and help you to overcome things you didn't think were possible to survive. He redeems what the enemy has meant for harm in ways no other can.

A scripture that I clung to in my dark days was, Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for good not evil, plans to give you a hope and a future."  There is a God... and He does love you.  God doesn't always answer things in our timing or the way we'd like.  His ways are not our ways.  Sometimes there is a greater plan and purpose that we don't see.  You may question this sometimes... but, He does know and understand what you are going through...He sees your tears and hears your cries and  He will be faithfully by your side to help. Remember, Psalm 91:15-16"He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him." 

One thing I have learned from experience, God is faithful and He is trustworthy!  Everything He promises, He delivers!  He just asks us to step out in faith and trust him.  We need to trust that He hears our prayers, that He loves us and that He wants the best for our lives! He will use all the sorrow and hurt to make something beautiful out of all the brokenness. He fills the broken places in our lives with more of Himself.  We learn to trust our earthly parents because they prove themselves... we learn through their actions that we can depend on them.  It works the same way with our Heavenly Father.  Through our experiences, we really get to know God in a way we could never learn just from reading about Him.  He is our deliverer and our refuge in the storm.

God also promises in Jeremiah 31:13... "For I will turn their mourning into joy And will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow."

It may be hard to see from where you are right now, but better days are coming!

If you are needing some hope, let me offer this prayer for you...

Dear Lord, Please bless the person reading this.  You know their needs and their hurts.  Please meet them where they are and pour your grace, comfort and mercy upon them. May they find your strength and courage to face their trials.  Where there is turmoil,  grant them peace.  Where there is pain, we ask for your healing hand to be upon them. If they are weary, may they find your rest. Where there is discouragement and uncertainty, please send signs of Your presence to encourage them. May they be reassured that You have not forgotten or abandoned them.  May they remember and be comforted by your promises to never leave or forsake us, to meet our every need, to bind our wounds and to work everything together for good for those who love you.  May their hearts be at peace knowing you don't just give comfort in the midst of our storms, you give us yourself. Please bring people into their life who will love on them, share their burdens and walk beside them in the midst of their struggles and pain.  May they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that You are real and that there is hope and healing because of Jesus.   Please pour Your blessings upon them and meet their every need.   In Jesus' name we ask these things... Amen.

I'm praying that the God of peace will touch you and fill you  to overflowing with His peace, hope, love and comfort!

Easter 2012 message from Pastor Greg Laurie :: Luke 24
Week 26 of Believe A sermon series featuring Max Lucado