What does HOPE look like?

 

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Today.  Today I woke up, just like you, to the news that someone opened fire on a concert in Vegas.  58 lives taken and over 500 more wounded.  Heavy hearted I began to sort through my own emotions regarding what happened… and true to form my mind began to wonder through all the hard things that continue to hit our nation.  My wondering led me down the road of knowing that somewhere in the chaos God has a redemptive plan.

I think about the day that Jesus was betrayed by a friend, taken away by soldiers hurling lies at him, put before the people to be judged and ultimately found guilty for nothing at all.  He died.  Imagine that day.  Imagine being a friend of Jesus and experiencing that day.  Imagine believing he was the son of God… but he died.  The hope of the world, hanging there naked and dead.  And those who knew him, the feeling of hopelessness setting in as the crowds around Jesus’s tortured body yelled with excitement and anger.  No hope.  It was dead.  All seemed lost, chaotic, unreal and I bet those friends felt equally lost, confused, unsure and hopeless.

BUT GOD…  God took one of the hardest, darkest moments in the history of the world and turned it into the most redeeming moment we have ever known.  His son died so we could have life.  What seemed like loss was actually our gain.  What seemed like chaos was actually God’s plan.  What seemed unreal became the most real thing that could ever happen for mankind.  God wasn’t just bringing hope, he was bringing us the answer to everything!

I have to trust that when God says he is the same yesterday, today and forever that means TODAY there is hope, hope that our nation finds the answer, finds JESUS.  Today in the midst of chaos I trust there is a plan.  Today in the midst of such horrible loss God will bring gain.  I have to trust that God will take all of the hard, dark moments that continue to happen and he will redeem them.  My heart has been crying out for revival in the US.  A revival that brings this nation face to face with a God that loves us, face to face with a God that sent his son to die for our sins, face to face with a God that has redeemed us.  We need revival.  We need a nation that is brought to a place of desperation to realize that we need something more… we need God.  He is GOOD NEWS in a sea of horrible news.

Pain is real, but so is hope. 

History shows that every great move of God that has taken place comes in the midst of some of the hardest, darkest times the world has ever experienced.  Revival comes when people get desperate enough to realize they can’t do this life without God.  Revival comes when people realize that they have replaced the Lordship of Christ with all kinds of idols, sin, comfort and luke-warm living… and they begin to repent.  They begin to fall on their face and ask God to make them like him.  To have less of them and more of him.  They begin to long to be holy as God is holy to show the world that he is good and he is the way.  They begin to fall in love with the people around them and get desperate for them to know the answer, to know the one true God!

2 Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I am taking my turn right now.

I am a sinner.  I daily choose my own preferences over following the spirit of God, from one minute to the next.  I am guilty.  I am guilty of putting my comfort above the voice of God.  The opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is selfishness.  When it comes down to it I can sum up my sin in one sentence.  I have chosen selfishness over love.  It manifests in all kinds of ways, but the root of all of it is that I so often choose me over loving.  Today I repent.  Today I beg God to make me more like him.  Today I ask God to purify my heart and show me my wicked ways so that I can surrender them and be changed.  Today I ask God all over again to use my life to show him to the world.  There is more I can do, there is more I can say, there is more of him to be made known.

This is hope guys, simple people surrendering daily to God and his plan.  In pain.  In chaos.  In loss…. there is hope, there is an answer to everything.

“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches and glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  Colossians 1:27

Christ in us is the hope of God’s glory being made known to the people around us and across the earth.  Let’s refuse to spend any amount of our live’s on being selfish when there are so many people that still haven’t even heard the name of Jesus.  Let’s recognize that we are conduits of God’s hope.  Let’s humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face and turn from our selfishness.  Let’s embrace the fact that the moment we surrendered our lives to Jesus… his spirit in us became the hope of the world knowing him.  This is what hope looks like.  You have the answer, it is Christ in you. 

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