In 1991 Billy Graham wrote a National Bestseller entitled, Hope for the Troubled Heart. In the foreword Graham said, “In my travels over the decades, I have found people are the same the world over. However, in recent years I find that there is an increasing problem that I would sum up in the word ‘hopeless’.”
Nearly three decades later, the problem of hopelessness and despair continues to rise. There have been ongoing studies concluding that our country is experiencing an “epidemic of hopelessness”. Many desperately need some hope to hold on to.
This life is hard. We all go through difficult times. There are those hard things that keep our thoughts and minds reeling through the night. Most of us have experienced things in life that have broken our hearts and left us feeling like we have no hope, but did you know that you can actually know Hope?
Jesus comforted his followers with these words, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-3, emphasis mine) These words of comfort are just as much for us today as they were for the disciples back then!
Do you know the way?
Even Jesus’ disciple, Thomas, was unsure of the way, but Jesus responded,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus didn’t just come to show us a path, teach us some truth, and give us a key to life. He says, “I am your way and your truth and your life.” Unlike other religions of the world, Jesus takes us by the hand, leads us, and incarnates his truth within us. He’s calling us to walk by faith, yoked ever so closely, and learn from him. He wants us to stop striving and know him… know Hope.
Jesus, our Living Hope, did not create us to do life on our own. He promises us, just as he did his disciples, that he will not leave us. “I will not leave you comfortless…” (John 14:18). The word “comfortless” is taken from the Greek word orphanos, which is where we get the word orphan.
He will not abandon you to your own devices and inclinations. His presence comes to dwell within YOU! Remember he calls you “son”! It must grieve his heart when we choose to live like orphans. We have been accepted into the family of God! He calls us by name! We belong! He thinks of us constantly! He bends down from heaven when we talk to him. He is so near!
If we aren’t aware of his presence within, it isn’t because he is not there. It’s because we are not paying attention, or perhaps dabbling in sin, or not keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, rather living our own way.
He wants us to be as connected to him as a branch is to a vine. As his life (the True Vine) flows into us (the branches), we will bear the fruit of His Spirit. That fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) is the supernatural result of abiding in Jesus.
Envision Jesus, by his Spirit within, flowing through you as you walk and talk. Keep that image alive as you renew your mind daily, and then go live, allowing the Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3) to encourage you and others through you!
If you’re struggling with feelings of hopelessness, there is hope for you. You don’t have to walk alone. Tell a trusted friend. There is freedom in vulnerability.
Jesus wants you free and full of hope!
I am praying for you as you read this…
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name ~ Amen
Hope is alive!