Just yesterday, we had a meeting for work with the central theme from one of the speakers being hope. It was more a contrast in people who have hope in something versus those who do not, and the difference that can make in our lives. It can be something as simple as a child that hopes for a special gift, or acceptance from peers, or it can be more pressing, as in a cure or healing from a disease or disability. As Christians, our hope is in Christ, who has saved us from the curse of sin and death, and other things may seem trivial in comparison. Yet because of our eternal hope, it makes some of those ‘lesser’ things possible as well. What do you currently hope for in your life, and what steps are you taking to make that hope a reality?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
When there are things in our lives that we have little to no control over, we can be left hoping that things will change. We can also take an active role in helping to bring about those changes either in ourselves or others. If someone we care about is being treated unfairly, we can advocate for that person and actively seek justice if it is within our power to help. Others can also intervene for us when we are in a difficult situation as well. A friend who I had not talked to much in the past 13 years, recently asked me for help, and I was able to do so, as was a friend who had never met him, yet felt God had called her to help. If we have faith and do not doubt, we may even ask God to intervene and help us in our plights. He may not always answer our prayers in ways we want or expect, but so often he does answer them when we yield control to Him. Do you have stories of answered prayer that you ever share with others?
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
I had a friend who had an accident a couple months ago and lost function in one arm and has also had swelling and significant pain in that arm for much of that time as well. I have been trying to encourage him, as he lost his job and has not been able to work since, but his situation has not changed much in those two months. Just last week, I offered to pray for him, as he had started to get discouraged. It wasn’t anything fancy, but just stood there with my hand on his arm, asking Christ to do what he would to alleviate his suffering. When I saw him the next day, he informed me that he had not had pain in that arm the whole day. In the week since, he reported that his pain has not returned and the swelling has gone down considerably as well, though his full function is still not what it was. I have not seen someone so excited and joyful and praising Jesus as this man after getting relief and healing from the past two months of intense pain. He even is hoping to be able to return to work as soon as he is able. I’m not sure if this experience has strengthened his faith or my faith more in the power of prayer. May we all be encouraged when we hear and experience these stories of the power of God!
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Yours in Christ,