My HOPE is in Christ alone

Have you ever felt as though you had lost all hope?  Do you get tired of fighting the “good fight of faith”?  Sometimes in this life, we can get discouraged to the point that we just want to give up. 

I’ve learned that during these times, if I try just a little, I can find things in daily life to renew my hope.  No matter how bad things seem, if we look hard enough, we can still see God in the situation.  We can still know that He is in control. 

This week leading up to Easter, I was reminded of how Jesus’ followers must have felt after they witnessed his cruel death on the cross.  They had so much hope up until that moment.  They believed that He truly was the Messiah and had come to establish His kingdom, to make things right.  But they were too focused on what they wanted Him to do for them, that they couldn’t see the big picture of what Jesus really came to accomplish.  He had even told them of His coming death, but they just didn’t seem to “get it”. 

We can be like that much of the time as well.  We can dwell on what we want God to do for us, totally ignoring what He has already spoken to us.  Thankfully, we have God’s Word to remind us of the big picture – to remind us of how the story ends….God wins….we win!

But daily life and the problems and struggles that we are bombarded with can seemingly take away the hope we have for tomorrow.  Just imagine how Jesus’ disciples felt when they saw him led away, beaten beyond recognition, and hung on a cross to die.  They were afraid, so afraid that most of them fled and went into hiding.  And imagine how Mary must have felt.  There was her precious son, the Lamb of God, perfect and Holy, suffering a cruel death before her very eyes.  She probably thought, “It isn’t supposed to be like this!”  “How could God allow this to happen?”  Yet He did.  And Jesus, himself, willingly went through this torture – just so you and I could be spared of it. 

We all know what it feels like after we’ve lost a loved one to death.  The immediate days following the death seem to drag on forever.  We wonder how we will ever cope with this new reality.  How will we carry on?  How will things ever be normal again, forget being better!

I’m sure Jesus’ followers felt the same way, but what a difference three days made!  Jesus rose from the dead, just as He said He would.  My heart races at the thought of how they must have felt when He stood before them again….whole and complete.  And we can know that this truth empowered them because they came out of hiding.  Their hope was renewed!  They were able to pick up the pieces and carry on….working for the Lord. 
They became bold and empowered by the Holy Spirit as they continued to work for the Lord.

When you and Iexperience dark and trying times, we must remember what Jesus accomplished on the cross that day.  Death was defeated as Jesus made a way for us – a way to everlasting life, a way to life with hope for tomorrow. 

I love these words to the popular Southern Gospel song, “God On the Mountain”:

Life is easy when you're up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind like you've never known.
But then things change and you're down in the valley.
Don't lose faith for you're never alone.

For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley.
When things go wrong, He'll make it right.
And the God of the good times
is still God in the bad times.
The God of the day is still God in the night.

If you are in Christ, you are never without hope!

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