Billy's Blog
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March 29, 2017, 10:02 AM

Hope Is Our Greatest Gift

Despite all of the positive thinking gurus, and self-help books, and smiling preachers on television promising God's favor, sometimes life just stinks. It just does. Sometimes people make bad choices that make a lot of people suffer. People get cancer. Families split up. Children suffer with disease and sickness. There are wars and battles and casualties. There are financial, emotional, and mental breakdowns. It's just difficult. 

Paul describes some of his troubles in 2 Corinthians 11. Here's a glimpse of what he went through...beaten almost to death, stoned, shipwrecked three times, spent a night in the open sea, been in danger from rivers, bandits, Jews, Gentiles, in the city and country. He'd suffered from hunger and thirst, gone without sleep, he had been cold and naked, and suffered from the stress of working with churches. 

Why would Paul share all of this? Paul goes on in 2 Corinthians 12 to talk about some suffering he had gone through. God did not change all of it or fix all of it, but here's what God said to him. "My grace is sufficient for you." 

In other words, no matter what you go through you've got hope because of my grace. 

Through the grace of God we have hope through Jesus. Life is not perfect yet, we are still on planet Earth. This is an imperfect place with imperfect results. Romans 8:24 says that we don't hope for what we already have. We hope for something that is coming. 

If anyone has ever told you that when you become a follower of Christ your life will be an easy road with one success after another they were a recruiter and a liar not a true disciple of Jesus. Life is life. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust. There is no Christian bubble where anything bad or tragic avoids all believers. 

Here's the difference...we have hope in the middle of the mess. I have been given promises by God that are not conditional based upon how life goes. God is on my side no matter what goes on each day. I know that I have a home in heaven and no one can take that from me. Romans 8 reminds me that NOTHING can separate me from God's love. I cling to these promises. 

Hope is our greatest gift. It sustains us when we want to give up and give in. It keeps us going when the circumstances of life threaten our belief in it. Don't give up people...you have hope...even when it doesn't feel like it. 

 

 

 


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