Are you discouraged? Disappointed? Disenchanted? Do you wonder how things will ever change for you? God knows what you are going through and he wants to help you. No matter what hurt you may be experiencing, or where you have been, or what you have done, God is waiting to give you his hope!
For generations, humanity waited for the birth of a Savior and Messiah; someone who would save them from their own sense of hopelessness. However, this Savior did not come as a decorated warrior or an earthly political leader, but as the One who hears the cries of the sick, mends the hearts of the broken, and liberates those in spiritual bondage. In the midst of darkness, God came near to us through the birth of his own son, Jesus Christ, and he delivered the light of hope through the Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Throughout all of history people have been searching for hope and doubting that hope would ever find them. Maybe you have experienced similar doubt, wondering if God cares for you or will ever come near to you. However, it is possible to encounter the hope for which your heart longs.
The story of humanity begins with a glorious creation. The voice of God brought forth the heavens and the earth, with man and woman as the culmination of this spectacular display. The Bible shares that in those moments, God formed man and woman and placed his thumbprint on them, known as the Imago Dei (image of God). God designed each one of us in his image so that we may bask in and benefit from his love. He also designed us to be a reflection of his glorious light. In Genesis 1:3 the Bible tells us, “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” From that point forward, God began shining his glorious love and light in and through all creation. The Bible also says, in Genesis 1:31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” And God had a personal and close relationship with his creation.
However, something significant happened. Something went terribly wrong. From light and love, humanity fell into darkness and depravity. God created everything in beauty and splendor, but the Bible tells us that humanity rebelled against God and his perfect plan and purpose for creation. In a single moment, Adam and Eve decided that they wanted to do things their own way. The Bible calls this the fall. The fall of man, or the fall, is a term used to describe the transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience. This happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. This disobedience is what separates us from God and his hope.
Since that moment of rebellion, all of humanity has had an aching and longing that they cannot overcome. It is an emptiness that indicates we are missing our heavenly Father. We all long to spend time with our Creator. Our Creator made us and he desires a relationship with us. However, our sin and brokenness separate us from him.
This is what makes the life of Jesus so powerful. Jesus is hope becoming flesh. History records him as a real person, and eye witnesses give account to his death, burial, and resurrection. God does not leave us in brokenness and emptiness, He sent his Son to save us. And that’s great news!
Something needs to happen to fix our relationship with God. And of course, God has an answer to that dilemma. God needed to redeem the humanity he created. Something needed to happen to account for the sin and disobedience of humanity. In the Old Testament, God’s people, the Israelites, made sacrifices on a regular basis. But God knew that he needed a one-time solution to the dilemma of sin. God doesn’t want something from us, he wants something for us. And so, he sent his one and only Son to make the payment for our disobedience. He actually cared about the world so much that he released what he so cherished for you and for me. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God gave his Son so that anyone and everyone can have an opportunity to receive eternal life. Romans 10:13 says, “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The Bible says if you do that and believe God is who he says he is and he will do what he says he’ll do, you will not perish but you will have eternal life.
The promise of the hope-filled life is as simple as accepting the promises of God. Second Peter 1:4tells us, “By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature.” Your heavenly Father has great and precious promises for you. Today the promise of eternal life is possible for you through Jesus. Through Jesus you can discover the hope, faith, and fulfillment that God has ready and waiting. It is as simple as praying this prayer:
Heavenly Father, I admit that I have been hurt by sin and I have hurt others with my sin as well. I believe you died for all sin and that you rose again to offer eternal life. I repent of my sins, I give you my heart, and I give you my life. Wash me clean. Give me a purpose. Fill me with joy and love so that I might live a hope-filled life. I make you the Savior and Lord of my life. Amen.
If you prayed that simple prayer you have been born again. You are starting with a clean slate, and you have entered into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Make your relationship with God the top priority in your life. Start praying each day. Prayer is simply talking to God like you would talk to a friend.
If you don’t have a Bible, try and find a copy of one, or access one online. Start reading the Bible each day. Start with Proverbs and the Gospel of John.
Mark down today’s date. If you have an actual Bible, write the date in the Bible to help you remember the day that you found an eternal hope and purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ.
What was your response?
[This article is by Pastor James Welch of First Fort Lauderdale Church.]