Is that you? Do you hope in Godâ€™s Word?
Last night Karen and I visited our friends Dino and Jeannette. Dino is dying from cancer and the ravages to his body are very apparent.
I donâ€™t know quite what I expected, but what we saw was not part of that.
I wasnâ€™t shocked by Dinoâ€™s appearance, although he told us not to be scared, bless his precious heart. No, I had seen what cancer did to my oldest sister Kathy before she went to be with Jesus. It wasn’t his appearance at all.
It was his spirit and Jeannetteâ€™s too.
There is a peace that surpasses all understanding resting on that beautiful family. Jeannette shared with us that she goes to Starbucks every morning, gets her a large latte and smokes some cigarettes and screams and cries and prays and lets God help her.
When we were leaving, Jeannette walked outside with us and Karen told her how proud she was of Jeannette and how she is dealing with â€œlosing her beautiful husband,” as Jeannette describes Dino. I told her that everyone who talked with and seen Dino are so impressed with the peace he hasâ€¦the peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7). She told us that during the day at times Dino will pick up his Bible and read and she says it makes him so peaceful.
Dino is looking forward to going home. He now knows that this earth is not his home. He looks forward to seeing his neighborâ€™s daughter who was killed in an automobile accident. He looks forward to seeing Eddie again, whom he loves and greatly grieved over his death.
And now I am at peace with Dinoâ€™s departure. I have shared the gospel with Dino many times and in our recent conversations it is apparent to me that he has accepted Jesus Christ as His Lord. Of course we can never be for certain about a personâ€™s salvation, although there is to be obvious fruit. But one thing I have learned is that after one of my loved ones departs, I receive a blessed assurance that because of their faith in Jesus they are with Him.
That hope that we can have in the hereafter is found in Christ and the Bible is a book of hope. Instead of judgment for our sins we can receive mercy and forgiveness of sins. Instead of living in fear and anxiety, we can wait in hope for the Lord. That is where our hope is, for each of us individually, corporately as a church and community, and nationally for our country. The Psalmist wrote:
â€œI wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morningâ€”yes, more than those who watch for the morning.â€ (Psalm 130:5-6)
In our country right now we are placing all our hopes on November 2nd, when national elections take place. We are hoping that the Democrats will be put out of power and Republicans will take over the Congress. We are hoping that after that happens that we can finally stop Barack Obamaâ€™s socialist agenda. I hope for that too; however, my hope does not rest on that.
You see Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party for that matter, are mere symptoms of a deeper disease that has infected our society. We have openly and outright rejected God. We no longer hope in Jesus Christ as did 90% of our Founding Fathers, and therein lay the heart of our societal and national woes. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote:
â€œThus says the LORD: â€˜Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?â€™â€ (Jeremiah 17:5-9)
In what do you place your hope? In what would you be trusting should death visit your doorstep? Would you face your eternity with the peace that surpasses all understanding as Dino and Jeannette are, or would you tremble at your mortality? For those fearing the afterlife the most precious thing you have is your last breath. For Dino and Jeannette, they have precious memories of this life that make them laugh and cry, but they have heavenly expectations of the life to come.
They are hoping in Godâ€™s Holy Word manifested in the life of Jesus Christ of whom the Apostle Peter writes:
â€œâ€¦who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.â€ (1 Peter 1:21)
I pray that is you.
I pray that no matter what you are facing at this very moment you can do so with the confidence only found in Christ.
I pray you will turn to His Word as Dino does for comfort and hope.
And I pray that this weekend will be especially blessed because you have read of the Hope of Christ and heard the Word of God preached at church on Sunday.
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Copyright Â© 2010 David Jeffers
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