"Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
Good evening friends, just a little message on hope, real hope, the hope that comes when we root our hope in God. Notice what the Scripture says, "hope does not disappoint". That's quite a statement isn't it? Seems a lot of life is disappointing, or at least I have seen more than my fair share you know. The truth is though, none one them, not one single disappointment, has ever came from hoping in The Lord, not one. Don't get me wrong, there have been things I have prayed for, hoped for, that certainly didn't come to pass. It wasn't ever that God didn't answer, but His answer was no, wait, I have something better, something beyond what you had previously hoped. Even the bad stuff, the worst, the trials and tribulations so incredibly difficult that they shook me down to the very core of my being, in the end, they only proved one thing, "all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose," (Romans 8:28), and the scope of that statement is under-appreciated at times. It doesn't just mean when you are a saved person running around loving God, each other, being "good", or anything else, that this is when that "all things" takes effect, nope. God uses all of it, even before you come to know Him (I'll pause to say this isn't a treatise on election, of exactly when you knew Him, or when He made Himself known to you, and how He called you first rather you knew it or not-I won't say a thing about that, 😏), and all of it works for the good. I'm not going to go too crazy far into a personal play by play of my point, but I can confirm that it all has worked for the good, rather the crazy abuse as a kid, drug addiction, loss of a child, the divorce, etc..., in the end, all these struggles have absolutely worked for the good. In each trial I grew closer and closer to God, realizing that He is the only hope there is, that I wouldn't have endured had He not carried me. Moreover, as I learned to accept the call He put on my life, I have found plenty of other folks with similar struggles, tough ones to be sure, the kind that often make you feel all alone, like you are the only one (you are not, chat with me sometime, you'll see), and all those hard times come in pretty handy in helping folks see how God can work to help them in their struggles, as I am truly nothing special, God can do the same for anyone, just takes hoping in Him 😉 I have seen a lot of realized hopes in my life, especially here recently, hopes that may have even seemed like failures before, coming to fulfillment in the true plans God had all along, so much greater than anything I had ever dreamed of. I see a few others in the distance, if you squint right, hoping in Him, you can almost see them clearly, touch them, and it is a beautiful and awe inspiring thing my friends, indescribable really. So I leave you tonight with this question: where is your hope? Be careful how you answer, be truthful to yourself; where is it? Are you hoping on a hope that never disappoints? Never too late to switch you know, never too late to let The Lord Jesus Christ turn it all around, not as long as you have a breath in your body. I don't know that because I read about it, though it's all there in His Word, and I don't know it because someone told me, though over the years people have. Nope, I know it because I have witnessed it in my own life, can testify to the Truth without any hesitation, not because I am something special, I still fail everyday, but rather because I hope in the One who is special indeed, and He never ever, ever ever fails. Goodnight my friends, God Bless, and may we all find ourselves hoping in the hope that is Christ Jesus, abiding in His love 🙏🙏🙏