The Reason I Have Hope...
We are living in difficult and trying times right now for many people. I have spoken with people who are not allowed to visit their family members in nursing homes. I have friends and family members struggling for lack of income. I have heard straight from an employee in a grocery store who witnessed a fight over toilet paper where blood was spilled. My point in sharing these things is to show During the COVID-19 Pandemic it is natural for people to struggle with fears and doubts and uncertainty and emotional pain, but my purpose in this post is to share the reason I have hope. To quote the song “Hope Has A Name” by River Valley Worship:
“Hope has a name, His name is Jesus My Savior's cross has set this sinner free Hope has a name, His name is Jesus Oh, Christ be praised, I have victory”
The greatest reason I have hope in Jesus is the good news that we celebrated last weekend (Easter weekend). I have a Savior that died for me on the cross to save me from my sins and set me free from the penalty and the power of sin. I have hope because Jesus has conquered death through His death and resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:52-58 tells us:
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
I can have hope because death has no victory over me if I believe in Jesus Christ. This completely changes the way I think about my life. I can’t imagine living my life without the hope I have because of my Savior Jesus Christ! I remember as a college student having my homiletics (preaching) professor tell me and the other students in the classroom, “What people need is hope.” As I’ve served for eight years in pastoral ministry since then, I can affirm that my experience tells me that people in this world need hope. Especially in the times we are living in.
I read an article a little while ago by Andrew Hutchinson, dated March 24, 2020 on www.socialmediatoday.com and here is something he said in the article:
“People are obviously looking for support and reassurance amid the pandemic, and the ongoing uncertainty around its impacts, and they're turning to online communities for this purpose. When you also consider the loss of social interaction, through, say, your local church group, your sporting teams, even just running into friends down at the local cafe. That loss of community connection leaves a significant gap, at a time when people need to feel connected the most - and as such, it's no surprise to see online communities filling this void, and becoming more active, essential virtual meeting spaces.”
I’m excited and thankful that we can use technology to help keep connected – As a pastor I use technology a lot for our church, and I’ve been using it a lot more lately as we have adapted to having online services and online giving etc. for the time being. I think it is great that technology is helping people in the midst of this pandemic. Yet, I want to point out that I do not get my hope from technology. I get my hope from Jesus Christ. I couldn’t help but notice the observations that people are “looking for support and reassurance amid the pandemic”, and that there is a void in people’s lives right now. I believe that there is always a void in people’s lives that is not filled until they begin to know God.
There is always a void in people’s lives that is not filled until they begin to know God.
The psalms are full of reminders that our hope is in the Lord. Here are a few of them:
“Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” ~ Psalm 33:22
“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.” ~ Psalm 71:5
“… I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.” ~ Psalm 71:14-15
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” ~ Psalm130:5
If you have your hope in Jesus Christ, I encourage you to find ways to share the truth that your hope is in Jesus Christ during these times we are living in and all the time. Share it lovingly and with sensitivity... There's a world that needs to hear that hope has a name: JESUS