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There Is Hope

April 14, 2017

 

It’s Friday.

 

Life has taken a wrong turn. The checks have bounced. The doctor’s report came back and it’s not good news. Your potential has gone unnoticed. Every relationship you’ve entered into has failed. You feel unattractive, undesirable, and unworthy. You’ve had miscarriage after miscarriage. Your heart has broken for the last time.

 

We’ve all experienced it. The hurt. The devastation. The suffering. The voice that whispers cruelly in the darkest night, “There is no hope for your situation. It’s over.” At some point, all of us are going to face seasons in our lives where we are backed into a corner and it feels like there is no way out, and there is absolutely no solution for the problems we face.

 

It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming...

 

It reminds me of an old, old story told 2,000 years ago about a man named Jesus. A man, much like you and I in many ways, fully human and susceptible to every hurt and disappointment life could hurl His way. He spent thirty years hidden in anonymity. Nothing special about Him to the naked eye. Most folks would probably not even notice Him. After all, He was an un-celebrated boy from an un-royal family. Some might possibly even scorn Him because of His roots or the rumors that may have surrounded His conception.[1] However, He carried with Him a God-sized secret: He was to be the Savior of the world. And He was (and is), but it came with a price.

 

In moments of deep hurt, mind-boggling confusion, and immense pain, I'm guilty of thinking, NO ONE HAS A CLUE WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH. I AM IN THIS ALL ALONE. And then I am reminded from a still, small voice that He knows. On His darkest night on earth, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.[2] He looked up toward heaven and cried out, My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do You want?[3] He was agonizing over what He knew was to come - He would be betrayed and one of His closest friends would deny ever knowing Him...three times. He would endure ridicule, judgment and a horrific death. He felt every emotion. He wept every tear.

 

There is a street in the Old City of Jerusalem called The Via Dolorosa (in Latin, it literally means the Way of Suffering) and it was marked with a man's blood, sweat and tears...for you and for me. Jesus carried His cross and felt the sting of betrayal, of abandonment, of loss. His calling cost Him something. Suffering paved the way for His crucifixion, but thankfully, the story did not end there. Three days later, in the tomb where Jesus was buried, the stone rolled away, reminding us all that the dark night will end and morning will come again.

 

Whatever life looks like for you this Easter, I hope you know and believe one thing: There is hope. You may feel as though no one sees you, no one cares and things will never get better, but He is with you and He is making a way. I don’t know what your Via Dolorosa looks like, but we will all face, at one point or another, a road of suffering and it will cost us something, but it will not be the final story. Had Jesus remained in the tomb, we would all be entitled to feel complete defeat in the midst of our difficulties. But His story did not end there. He overcame death, hell and the grave, granting us complete freedom in Him. As I battled through one of the toughest seasons of my life last year, I felt God whisper one day, Yes, it devastated you, but it did not destroy you. As I have let the dead things go, He has breathed new life into me. And He will do the same for you. Yes, the cross was the avenue that led to Jesus’ death, but it paved the way for His resurrection and gave H O P E for all mankind.

 


[1] Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years...and Yours - Alicia Britt Chole

[2] Matthew 26:38 (NIV)

[3] Matthew 26:39 (MSG)

 

I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lost-ness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all - oh, how well I remember - the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope. - Lamentations 3:19-21

 

 

[1] Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years...and Yours - Alicia Britt Chole

[2] Matthew 26:38 (NIV)

[3] Matthew 26:39 (MSG)

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