By Roy Burner (Minister of the Gospel)
Searching for hope is a prelude to receiving! When tragedy threatens, or strikes, one needs to reach out to God who is greater than one's present circumstances The message of hope can be found in many places in God's Word such as the Book of Psalms:
For in you, O Lord, do I hope: you will hear (or answer), O Lord, my God (38:15). Why are you cast (or bowed) down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope you in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance (or presence) (42:5). For you are my hope, O Lord God: you are my trust from my youth (a prayer in old age) (71:5).
A Bible commentary noted: Using the refrain "Hope you in God" as a marker, the psalm yields three stanzas. First, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for God; second, his sad lament before God; finally, his sure confidence in God. Changing from longing and regret to perplexity, then trust and assurance! The treasure of God's revealed truths are accessible to all who are searching for hope!
Apostle Paul revealed: If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost (or perishing): in whom the god of this world (or Satan) has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
One may be searching for hope from the senseless destruction of the human body through alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc.. Satan would love to see you enter his dominion of deception and dominance forever; with searching for hope not even a remote possibility, but God's Word gives assurance to the contrary!
Apostle Paul wrote: We are troubled (or hard pressed) on every side, yet not distressed (or crushed); we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast (or struck) down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). For which cause we faint not (or do not lose hope); but though our outward man perish (or is perishing), yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
A Psalm of David brings consolation to those who are searching for hope; revealing answered prayer to a desperate situation:
I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay (that was attempting to hold him there), and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (or steps) (Psalm 40:1-2).
God's Spirit brings conviction to the truth of God's Word; towards one's being set free from a life of sin and rebellion against God. Until the last breath of life leaves the body there is hope! God does not forsake you but seeks to save the soul of man, through the cleansing power of the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.
In many Western nations there is a withdrawing from the hope of the Gospel; while in many Third World nations there is an advancing of such hope, with those who are drawing nearer to the Lord through difficulties being experienced on a daily basis due to one's faith.
We are seeing persecution of believers in Christ, in an attempt to stop the spread of the Gospel, but it is having a different effect; it is drawing people to the Gospel! Where there is seemingly no hope; the Gospel message is "Good News" in that there is hope through Christ Jesus!
Jesus read from the Book of Isaiah: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has anointed sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (or oppressed), to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
And he closed the book (or scroll), and he gave it again to the minister (or attendant), and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears (or hearing) (Luke 4:18-21.
Jesus is still, through His Word and God's Spirit, fulfilling those words; reaching out to those seemingly with no hope, with a message of deliverance.
Jesus died a horrible death, for you and I, that though His shed blood on the Cross of Calvary, that one might be delivered and cleansed of all sin. Scripture reveals: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Jesus death, burial, and resurrection is vividly portrayed in God's Word!
Searching for hope first comes with making things right with God, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture reveals: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do (or do not practice) the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:6-7).
If any man sin, we have and advocate (or intercessor) with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation (or atonement) for our sins: and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2). God's mercy is abundant to the repentant heart; for it is not His desire that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Searching for hope is allowing Jesus to be not only your Savior; but your Deliverer as well.
Jesus extends an invitation to all:
I stand at the door and knock (that of one's heart): if any man hears my voice, and opens the door (only you can); I will come in to him, and will sup (or dine) with him and he with me (Revelation 3:20). Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (or from) me; for I am meek (or gentle) in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
I have been dining at the Master's table for 42 years now! Searching for hope, in time of distress, is to look to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is faithful, who will not leave you in such a condition! Scripture reveals: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep (or guard) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
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