Have you ever had someone’s name suddenly come to mind? Have you ever reached out to that person only to hear the words, “Iʼm so glad you called. Youʼre not going to believe what Iʼve been going through?” It might have been news from a doctor, a relative, an employer or even a spouse, but some where and for some reason something’s gone wrong.
I recently woke up early only to find myself thinking of a friend. I wasn’t too surprised as I knew that he had some bad news days before. Burdened – In a word I felt a weight of sadness and anxiety for he and his family. Knowing that he was in the midst of a tough situation I wasn’t comfortable calling him. I didn’t want to add to his circumstance by bothering him, so I decided to write him a letter.
I sat down at my computer and I tried crafting a message of Hope. Recently I had been the recipient of just such a letter. The message I had received and the positive affect it had on me was still fresh in my mind.
The following letter is what I wrote to my friend. I’m sharing it with you knowing that perhaps you’re also currently in a difficult situation. My Hope for you is that the words shared here will lift you up from despair. We all need Hope. The kind of Hope we need is the kind that provides a firm foundation for all time. There is a way, founded in truth, that gives life and Hope to all whom believe.
Dear Joe ᶥ,
Greetings to you. I awoke this morning with you on my mind. I hope that these four verses will speak truth to your soul and provide you with a solid basis for Hope.
Our God of Hope
Romans 15:13 New International Version
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.
²study note; God of hope. God is the source of eternal hope, life, and salvation, and He is the object of hope for every believer by the power of the Holy Spirit. The believer’s hope comes through the Scripture which was written and is applied to every believing heart by the Holy Spirit.
His Word of Hope
Romans 15:4 New International Version
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
²study note; encouragement. sometimes translated as comfort. The word of God not only informs believers how to endure, but it also encourages them in the process (of enduring). hope. Without the clear and certain promises of the Word of God, the believer has no basis for hope. *the implication is that by having the clear and certain promises of God communicated through the scriptures the believer has every basis for Hope!
A Living Hope
1 Peter 1:3-4 English Standard Version Born Again to a Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, ²study note; abundant mercy. The reason God provided a glorious salvation for mankind is that He is merciful. Sinners need God’s mercy because they are in a pitiful, desperate, wretched condition as sinners. (Eph 2:4, Titus 3:5) has begotten us again. God gave the new birth as part of His provision in salvation. When a sinner comes to Christ and puts his faith in Him, he is born anew into God’s family and receives a new nature. a living hope. The living hope is eternal life. In the Bible, hope is not uncertainty or wishful thinking, but a confident expectation of future blessing based on facts and promises. “Living” indicates the undying and permanent character of this hope.
Joe, as always I am wanting to encourage and support you. The most powerful way I can do that is through the Word of God – His word never fails. Have you ever considered where your Hope lies?
Many years ago when I was fairly new on the job, I myself was at wits end. I was exasperated. I had grown up in a religious home. I knew the rules or thought that I did, but in the midst of great emotional trial I realized (finally) that I had no peace and that I couldn’t rescue myself. Even the god that I had been worshipping couldn’t help me – the one I had created was a figment of my own imagination. So I gave up, tapped out, threw in the towel . . . hit my emergency traffic so to speak. It’s the best thing that I’ve ever done. In Christ surrender is winning!
One evening I pulled out the bible that one of my sisters had given me years prior as a Christmas gift. I read her words over and looked up the passages of scripture that she referenced and for the first time it all made sense. By God’s grace I knew for the first time it was true. I read from Romans telling me that there was none righteous, that all of us are like sheep gone astray, that no one seeks after God, that I had a wicked heart. It was because I was born that way that I sinned every day. I realized that I needed a Savior. I prayed giving my life to God the best I could and He began to work out the details from then on.
For the first time in my life I had peace, peace with God. This peace was an objective reality based on God’s promise. The same peace is available to everyone who humbly surrenders and calls upon the name of the Lord.
Faith that Brings Peace and Joy
Romans 5:1-2 New Living Translation
Therefore, since we have been made right in Godʼs sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing Godʼs glory.
I will stop here. I hope that this is okay. I so wish that we could sit and chat so that I might be able to see how you are doing inside and what you are thinking. As a chaplain and friend I care about your well being.
I am praying for you and your family.
God bless you.
Brother / Friend / Chaplain
ᶥthe name has been changed to protect confidentiality
²the study notes listed are from the MacArthur Study Bible
By George Negrete, LAFD Chaplain