“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3, HCSB
Seems as if there has been disaster after disaster that hits the news these days. In those news accounts, you often hear interviews of individuals who simply refuse to give up the hope of finding their loved ones alive. Praise the Lord there have often been times when days, weeks, and even a month or so after what seemed a hopeless situation, there have been victims discovered alive.
After the Haitian earthquakes, there were interviews of people refusing to give up hope of finding loved ones alive. The reporters run off to the next disaster/crisis and often times fail to follow up on those type stories. I have sometimes wondered if those interviewed were ever united with family members that were lost during the disaster. When I see the plight of the people in the midst of crisis, my heart often aches for them. Due to my health, I was unable to respond to the Haitian crisis, but we sent several teams. My heart continues to ache for the tremendous need of the people there. Truthfully, many were in a hopeless situation prior to the earthquake, but God has used this disaster to bring into the lives of many people the hope of Jesus Christ! In the midst of every crisis, I encourage you to pray that God will use their circumstance and the teams of people that respond to their needs to find the living hope of that only Christ can provide.
The 21st Century affords nothing new for the plight of humankind. Peter’s world would best be described as hopeless. He was writing to believers that were facing dangerous situations—even death. Peter encouraged persecuted Christians to be faithful and to focus on hope in God. Peter reminded believers their real hope, their living hope, was possible because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That truth is the truth that needs to be proclaimed loud and clear today as well.
In recent years, I have experienced some difficult health issues. The doctor has said in a couple of instances that in a matter of a few hours I would have been dead if I had not made it to the hospital. I was amazed at the peace I experienced the first time the doctor made that statement to me as I laid in the hospital bed. What assurance we have in life – and in death, as we trust in the One who gave us all for this life and all eternity.
Even today, as I picked up my prescriptions from Wal Mart, I was afforded the opportunity to share the hope of Christ with 3 people. Two were familiar with my health issues. One, through the years, has talked more and more openly with me about her relationship with the Lord. The second does not have a relationship with Christ, and I remind him each time I leave him I am praying for him and stand ready to share more when he is ready. Our conversation turned to readiness to face death if it were to come today or on a mission trip in the third world country.
In Christ, we can face EVERYTHING differently! The hope available to all of us is based on Jesus Christ who has power over death itself. Choose the living hope of Christ. Live in the strength that brings in the circumstances of your life and share His hope with the people God brings into your life daily.
Associational Missions Strategist at Tar River Baptist Association since November, 2000. Called of God to work with member churches to strengthen the local church in its efforts to impact lostness in THIS generation! I will ATTEMPT to add to this blog almost daily. People are free to use the ideas shared in any way they wish. The purpose of the posts are merely to help us in our search to BE the people God is calling us to BE in Him!