Life can be hard. Sometimes, we have to endure a bad day. Other times, we face unrelenting heartache. No amount of tears can bring it to an end. Most of us face difficult times more often than we would like. Yet as difficult as life can be, hope guides us and gets us through the storms of life. Take away hope and even the small things crush us.
The Big Picture
As we look at the big picture in our world, we see hopeless situations. The news regularly bombards us with stories of harmful and even evil situations people endure. Abuse, divorce, murder, war, famine, rape, and natural disasters torment our lives and shred our broken world. Beyond the unexpected disasters that make the news, were wounded by the daily actions of others who never get headlines – but hurts us deeply. We begin to wonder how God can allow bad things to happen to good people.
Is this how God intended us to live? Is this the kind of life He created us for?
Thankfully, the answer is, no. The Bible tells us the true story of how God created us and our world, how we fell away from His original design and what He did to heal our brokenness. It offers hope because we discover that God is in the business of restoring us to His beautiful original intentions.
Belief That Makes a Difference
Does believing – trusting – in Jesus really overturn the hopelessness we experience in our world? What really happens when we discard our self-improvement plan and instead we give control of our lives to Christ?
When you accept something as true, it changes what you do. Accepting Christ means agreeing with Him about your sin, asking Him for forgiveness and inviting Him to be the new leader of your life. A decision to trust Jesus for your salvation means abandoning all attempts to earn His love and spending day living in that love.
Does it mean we’ll be perfect? No. Will we still sin? Yes. Our old sin nature still exists in us. But, we also have the Holy Spirit. He helps us grow in Christ and live a life that pleases God. And when we fail, He forgives us and helps us start again.
The good news is that it’s all about what God does for you. Salvation is God’s free gift to anyone who wants to receive it. Regardless of how badly damaged, no matter how many awful choices you’ve made, even if you’ve totally rejected God and never believe before now, Jesus paid the price and can forgive you. The choice to accept or reject this gift is up to you.
His free gift of salvation is available to everyone at any time. In fact, you can take God up on His offer right now. Tell Him you want to be in a relationship with Him, that you’re sorry for the sins you’ve committed, and that you accept His free gift of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Invite Him to guide you as you seek to get to know Him and learn to love other people like Jesus does. There’s no mystery to talking to God. It’s simple:
Share what’s on your mind and in your heart. He doesn’t really care what words you use, as long as you’re being real.
Our Hope Rests on Trusting God
Salvation as nothing to do with obeying the right set of rules, doing the right type of good works or feeling a certain way. Salvation comes by simply saying, “Yes, Jesus, I trust You.” When you accept Jesus’ terms for salvation, you can trust that God will honor His agreement forever. Your salvation is secure. The restoration process has begun and God will complete it.
Our hope rests on God’s promise that even though we experience pain while we are “in the process,” one day we will be fully restored. These experiences will be gone. He will never change the terms of His agreement to finish the work He started in us. The end of the story is certain, and God will never stop loving us as it unfolds.
A Life Touched by Hope
There is no hope of the hope God offers through Jesus Christ. Whoever or whatever let you down in the past, Jesus is not like them. In Him, you will find your greatest dreams fulfilled. His love is like no other. His forgiveness frees us to be all He created us to be. His power is without limit and your future with Him is the best thing that could ever happen to you.
Some Tools for Spiritual Growth
Read the Bible
The Bible helps us to understand who God is, what it means to love and obey Him, and what His plans are for His people and this world. There are a variety of good Bibles available. We recommend the Journey Bible, the Quest Study Bible and The Life Application Bible, which comes in a variety of translations. You can find them at a local Christian bookstore or online. Online, you can visit www.biblegateway.com which offers many Bible translations and study tools. You will find many helpful tools for reading and understand the Bible at the RBC Ministries website: www.rbc.org. We suggest you start by reading about Jesus in the New Testament (the Gospel of John).
Talk to God in prayer about what you read. Ask Him to show you how to respond to Jesus’ teachings.
Participate in a Local Church
Find a Bible-teaching church in your area. Look for a genuine worship of God. Make certain the church is helping people love God fully and love others the way Jesus did. A Christ-centered community is a great place to deepen your relationship with God and serve people with the same love and hope you received from Christ.
There are many Christian books and resources that will help you in your walk with Christ. Visit your local Christian bookstore. They will help you find just what you need. You can also go to www.lcpgifts.com for information on encouragement gifts and links to Christian book and gift retailers.
The above is just an excerpt from the article “We All Need Hope”, a small but truly powerful booklet that was included from the item I purchased from a Christian store. Please visit, www.lcpgifts.com. All of their gifts come with a Gospel message of hope and God’s love.