My father tells a story often when he preaches of a boy named Roger who was new in town and picked on by a bully. Day after day the same scene played out – Roger went to school and the bully would show up to “welcome” him. Until one day, the atmosphere changed. Just as the bully was about to lay into Roger, in stepped his big brother. Hope had arrived.
That word “hope” has been churning in my head a lot lately. It’s a word we often equate with tragedy. If we turn on any form of media today we are constantly bombarded with scenes of despair, disbelief, and restlessness. Hope is what people today are truly searching for. They long for something of significance that will not quickly fade.
I think of the people who have been devastated by hurricanes, countries nearly flattened by earthquakes, the millions of people who lost their lives to famines, or the tornado that comes out of nowhere and wipes an entire mid-west town off the map. These people lose everything and are trying to figure out how to start again. Let’s bring it home where we do life week in and week out. We constantly interact with people who are longing for a sense of security and joy. I think of the single mother who does not know how she is going to feed her family. The star quarterback laid out on the 50-yard line with his arm broken and his dreams shattered. The girl in the corner feeling abandoned ready to take her own life. The kid next to you on the bus who is hurting inside and you are too busy to stop and hear his story. This world tries hard to offer and define hope, but in the end those things do nothing but fail us.
As I have been thinking about this word “hope”, I have to ask myself, what sums up my hope? Here is what I have come to: Christ came, Christ died, Christ rose, and Christ is coming again! That is the core of the hope I know and believe in. It is what drives me to love people into the kingdom of God. It is what should drive us to share the hope we have.
In Colossians 1:26-27, Paul says, “the mystery hidden for ages and generations has now been revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
As a son or daughter of the King, we celebrate that by grace and love demonstrated through the cross, Christ has rescued us, renovated our hearts, and redeemed us all for His glory. Let change be evident!! Our life should tell of the rescuing story of what Christ did for us and of our hope and life that is found in Him and Him alone.
1) What are ways the world tries to define hope for us?
2) What defines your hope?
3) Who are some people in your circle of influence that you can share the rescuing story of hope with?
4) Finally, take a few moments a write out your “rescue story”. Read it over each day and thank God for His love and grace.