But, where can we find that hope? Have you ever wondered about that? We can’t do it alone. Our collective hope should come from Jesus, but will this ever happen? Yes, it will but it will be after a time of great suffering in our world. Why do hope and redemption come to us after hardship or suffering? In many ways, it is because we need to learn a lesson and God knows how stubborn we are. So, our hope and our deliverance come at the cost of hardship and suffering.
We always pray for deliverance and hope, sometimes we don’t use those specific words but it is the presence of hope that most of us are searching for. There are times when hope seems to be very far away or even not attainable, but God is as near as our next prayer and that is what gives us hope. God does care about all of us and He is never any distance from you, yet we think He is at times.
Hope is also the offspring of love and since God is Love personified then just knowing that your prayer is heard and that He listens to it and knows your situation gives you hope. So, why do people generally ignore Him and look in all sorts of places and people for their hope? I believe that it is because of the time in which we live.
What is so different about this “time”? If you can look back about forty or fifty years, with your parents or grandparents, they can tell you about how the world was when they were young. I know, many of you are tired of hearing about “the good old days”, but in many instances compared to today, that was true! Crime statistics from 1960, 1970 and 1980 all show a very different world from what we see and hear today.
For instance, in 1960 there were less than 200 car thefts per 100,000 people in the whole of the United States.
This is just one statistic but you get the point. I am sure there are others out there which can be found on the Internet. My point is that even though theft of cars has gone down and is even approaching the numbers from 57 years ago, other metrics like murder, rape, crimes against humanity (religious wars), are rising. All of this is happening because we are nearing the time described in the book of Revelation.
Why am I bringing this up in a post which is about hope? Because our Hope is in Jesus and He is coming back very soon. This is why Satan and his demons and spirits are intensifying their work these days. Their time is growing short and they know it! I am not speaking of people being possessed, just that spirits and demons can influence people, especially those who have ignored giving their lives to Jesus.
I am not speaking of people who just “claim to be Christians” because there are far more of those than there are actual Christians. People claim to be Christians when they have been to a church service once or twice a year. They also claim this distinction when their parents went to church when they were young as if you can inherit it. Christianity is not something like a cold or the flu, you don’t get it by being in contact with a Bible or being present in a church service occasionally!
You are and become a Christian when you have felt the call of the Lord on your heart, which you will be able to detect. It isn’t emotional nor is it just a decision which you make to become a Christian. When the Holy Spirit touches your heart or your soul, that part of you which can’t be found on an MRI, you will know it. Occasionally it comes during a service or by watching a service on TV, God can use any venue to get your attention. But it is NOT just a decision on your part!
Some people will tell you that you can refuse to listen when this happens and you can ignore it for a while. But I don’t recommend it. Read the book of Jonah and you will see that when God wants to use someone for His purposes, you will be brought around in time. My own calling into the ministry was over thirty years ago, but I ignored it until about ten years ago and I couldn’t ignore it any longer. No, God doesn’t make your life hard or unhappy in order to turn your heart back to His call but He will cause you to feel that call in a more urgent way.
Your hope and mine lie in the arms of Jesus and when you feel His call on your life, don’t put it off. My reason for this is that you can’t be sure of the length of your life and if you don’t accept Him as your Savior and Lord when you feel His call, you may not get another chance to accept it. An out of control car or tire on the highway could take your life tonight and you will meet Him but in a very different circumstance than what you should. Meeting Him without knowing Him and being a Christian will be…well let’s just say it isn’t very good at all.