My heart is breaking for our world…for the sadness that seems to have covered our nation…
However ~ I am not without HOPE!
No matter where I have found myself in my life, there is always HOPE! I do not say this as a cute little “christian-ese” phrase…I totally and absolutely believe it! But it is not MY hope that I have tucked down in the marrow of my bones. It is the hope that my precious Lord gives me every day.
But what do we do when we feel without hope? What do we do when we see those around us crippled by hopelessness? Sometimes, well let’s be honest ~ most of the time ~ we cannot fix someone else’s sense of hopelessness. But we can pray and we can cry out to God for help. Why? Not because He is a proverbial genie in a bottle, but because He cares for us immensely more than we really can comprehend.
Let’s think about this…
From the time that Adam stood next to Eve (Genesis 3:6-7), and they both ate of the fruit of the forbidden Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God crossed over enemy lines to get us back! In that moment, He began His mission of reconciliation between God and man. He searched them out in the Garden of Eden, and He did so in love. He did not stomp about the garden yelling for Adam and Eve to come out of their hiding place (because…you know…He knew where they were the whole time!) How it must have caused God to cringe as He watched His creation take the bait of the enemy!
In Genesis 3:8-13, we see how God asked questions of Adam and Even, and listened to their excuses as to why they had disobeyed. Hello to the beginning of placing blame, deflecting the issue onto someone else, and basically trying to get out of trouble for something you know you did wrong! But God listened.
I imagine Him sitting there in the Garden, talking with Adam & Eve, but NEVER taking His eyes of the Serpent in the background. When He had heard enough, He had no choice but to hand out discipline. I imagine Him then standing tall and stepping between Adam & Eve, to face the Serpent. God gave out the first line of punishment to the Serpent (verse 14 & 15). Upon creating Adam & Eve, and showing them all the delights of the Garden, He told them all of the things they could do and all that they could eat. Only ONE THING could they not take part in, and what would happen if they crossed that line.
In that one moment, so began the earthly journey of our lives ~ being pursued by the God that loves us so much that He crossed enemy lines by sending His only Son to the earth to bring us back to Him. We cannot handle seeing the glory of God the Father, but He planned it all so that we could look upon His Son and see the face of God.
I think the ultimate act of ‘crossing the enemy lines’ is when Jesus was resurrected and during the 3 days of His death, He went down into the belly of hell and took back the keys of death. Jesus, the Son, overcame death forever. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was the absolute confirmation that we are so loved by our God. He wants to be reconnected with us through the resurrection and salvation of His Son. Jesus Christ has the victory of EVERYTHING! There is nothing in our life, in our neighborhood, in our nation, in our world, or in our universe that He has not ALREADY overcome! The power of the Creator of the Universe lives within us when we humble ourselves and receive Him as our Savior.
There has not been one generation, even since the beginning of the first family created by Adam & Eve, that has not bucked up against God having control of their life. King Solomon writes an entire book (Ecclesiastes) about how there is ‘nothing new under the sun.’ Read these words that were penned centuries ago and you will see that they could have been written by any number of journalists today…
Ecclesiastes 1:8-10, “All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us.”
God is full of love and second chances for us to come to Him.
Psalm 36:6-8, “Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.”
Psalm 66:19-20 “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!”
Romans 5:7-9 “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
Oh…these are just a few of the promises in God’s word about how much He loves us and what He will do to bring us back to Him. There are so many eloquent passages in God’s Word that speak of His great love for us!
If God is so willing and able to cross enemy lines, we have the same power to willingly and ably cross those same lines of the enemy around us and stand for Christ! Calling out to receive Him and call Him Savior grants us the access to that kind of spiritual power! Stand up for the things that make His heart cry out, stand up for those who cannot defend themselves, and stand up for those who are without hope.
Be the light to the world ~ that shines hope and faith to everyone around them. If there are hardships that you are going through right now, don’t mope around like you are powerless! You have every gift of the Holy Spirit within you to conquer every single aching moment of life you will encounter. It is one of our callings as Christians to show the world that they can have hope in this dismal world.
You can overcome!
John 16:32-33 says, “Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
…and in Romans 12:21, we read, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”