Tuesday, October 13, 2015
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I was about halfway through my hamburger at a cookout when a friend of our son asked me a provocative question. She worked with a group of junior high kids and she asked them what they thought the purpose of life was. They said, "To die." She continued to probe and then she started to talk to them about hope. But she said, "Ron, they have no concept of hope. They're like concrete people. Hope is too abstract. How can I explain hope to them?"
Well, by the last bite of that burger I was telling her about this big blizzard I had been in a few years before. We ended up with three feet of snow in our yard. By the time the snow plow had finished in our driveway we had these towering mountains of snow around us. My wife and I both said, "We will never see our yard again!" For many weeks it was inconceivable that those towering mountains would ever go away. That is if you based your judgment solely on what you could see at the time. But we knew that when we saw that yard again, there would be blooming flowers there. We had hope. It wasn't always going to be like this.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Believing In Spring."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Thessalonians 4:13. It talks about those who have already died and it says, "We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men," listen to this, "who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him." Verse 17, "And we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with those people in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."
Notice it says, "We do not grieve as others who have no hope." I'm glad it doesn't say, "We do not grieve" because we do. But the difference is there's something on the other side of the scale from the grief. It's called hope. Now, hope is hard to come by during the "winters" of your life – like the loss of someone you love.
Like Matt and Kelly, our friends whose little daughter died in a tragic accident. Or Tony, whose mother just died suddenly. It's cold right now. The grief is almost unbearable. Almost. But they both are talking about the hope factor because their life is anchored to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They know death can't ultimately win. Death is reduced to being a painful interruption. Very painful, but only an interruption.
The winter will not last forever. The reunion in the spring is coming and it will last forever. Why? Because Jesus died to remove the great separator – sin; the sin that separates us from God, that separates us from each other. Because Jesus conquered death the moment He walked out of His grave He assures those who belong to Him that they will share His victory over death. He's a living Savior who gives Eternal Life to those who belong to Him.
So what is hope? It is the confident expectation that there is something better than this. It won't always be this way. It's what got me through an otherwise depressing winter. There will be a spring. What you see isn't what you get! Maybe it's winter for you right now. The pain, the struggle, the wounds are very real. If what you can see is all there is, the outlook is bleak, but it's not all there is if you belong to Jesus.
The Bible describes it this way, "Christ in you, the hope of Glory." Do those three words describe you? Christ in you. Your relationship begins the day you do what the Bible says. It says, "To all who received Jesus, to those who believed in His name He gave the right to become the children of God" So the Bible asks us so beautifully, "If God be for us who can be against us?"
Are you assured of hope? Hope has a name. His name is Jesus. The very hopelessness of your winter could be the very thing that drives you to His waiting arms; this man who loved you enough to die for your sin on the cross. He's driving you to the hope that only a living Savior can give and you'll have it forever.
If you've never begun a relationship with Him, tell Him today, "Jesus, I'm Yours." We'd love to be there for you in the middle of all this. You can text us at 442-244-WORD.
With Jesus you can live in real and lasting hope. The confident expectation that there will be something better than this - guaranteed by the Son of God Himself. He brings the spring.