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The Hope Is In The Cross

Hope is something that we reach for
when we feel that everything around
us is hopeless. Hope is something
that seems to slip away, when we feel
we are stuck in the muck and the mire.

One day, while I was going though a
very tough time, I went to church and
prayed. I wanted to shout, God, why
have you foresaken me. A sense over-
came me, with a peace that I never will
forget. With it "Hope is in the cross".
I will never forget those words, or the
feelings that came with it. God was
speaking to me, as I am now speaking to
you. There are so many wonderful things
that God tells us in His Word and I
would like to share them with you.

Mark 5:35-36 While Jesus was still
speaking, some men came fom the house
of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your
daughter is dead," they said. "Why
bother the teacher any more?" Ignoring
what they said, Jesus told the synagogue
ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

Jairus's crisis made him feel confused,
afraid and without hope. Jesus' words
to Jairus in the midst of crisis speak
to us as well. "Don't be afraid, just
believe." In Jesus' mind, there was
both hope and promise. The next time
you feel hopeless and afraid, look at
your problem from Jesus' point of view.
He is the source of all hope and promise.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes
not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is
unseen is eternal.

Our ultimate hope when we are experiencing
terrible illness, persecution or pain is
the realization that this life is not all
there is - there is life after death!
Knowing that we will live forever with God
in a place without sin and suffering can
help us live above that pain that we face
in this life.

Luke 18:35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a
blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.

Beggers often waited along the roads near
cities, because that was where they were
able to contact most people. Usually
disabled in some way, beggars were unable
to earn a living. Medical help was not
available with their problems and people
tended to ignore their obligation to care
for the needy (Leviticus 25:35-38). Thus
beggars had little hope of escaping their
degrading way of life. But this blind beggar
took hope in the Messiah. He shamelessly
cried out for Jesus' attention and Jesus
said that his faith allowed him to see. No
matter how desperate you situation may seem,
if you call out to Jesus in faith, he will
help you.

Philipians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not
consider myself yet, to have taken hold of
it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is
behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in
Christ Jesus.

Paul had reason to forget what was behind,
he had held the coats of those who stoned
Stephen, the first Christian martyr
(Acts 7:57-58, Paul is called Saul here).
We have all done things for which we are
ashamed and we live in the tension of what
we have been and what we want to be.
Because our hope is in Christ however, we
can let go of past guilt and look forward
to what God will help us become. Don't
dwell on your past, instead grow in the
knowledge of God by concentrating on your
relationship with him now. Realize that
you are forgiven and then move on to a
life of faith and obedience. Look forward
to a fuller and more meaningful life because
of your hope in Christ.

Revelation 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus
be with God's people. Amen.

Revelation closes human history as Genesis
opened it - in paradise. But there is one
distinct difference in Revelation - evil is
gone forever. Genesis descibes Adam and Eve
walking and talking with God. Revelation
describes people worshiping God, face to face.
Genesis describes a garden with an evil
serpent. Revelation describes a perfect city
with no evil. The Garden of Eden was
destroyed by sin; but paradise is re-created
in the new Jerusalem.

The book of Revelation ends with an urgent
request: "Come Lord Jesus." In a world of
problems, persecution, evil and immorality,
Christ calls us to endure in our faith. Our
efforts to better our world are important, but
their results cannot compare with the
transformation that Jesus will bring about
when he returns. He alone controls human
history, forgives sin, and will re-create the
earth and bring lasting peace.

Revelation is, above all, a book of hope. It
shows that no matter what happens on earth,
God is in control. It promises that evil will
not last forever. And it depicts the wonderful
reward that is waiting for all those who believe
in Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord.

Is there any wonder then why "Hope" is in the