Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Without a Hope?

You open the newspapers and the images you see assault everything you believe to be decent. You read devastating news that shifts your world from its axis like an earthquake. What do you do? When you switch on the TV and what you hear is the spectrum of destructive human failings. Men so engorged in their depravity that they unleash wanton acts of wickedness on one another. What do you do?
What do you do when what you hear and see makes you wonder how men could become so depraved that they loose their humanity to the extent that another person’s life holds no value? You wonder what cause could justify such calculated destruction of lives.
Or is it the destruction of initiative and creativity that faces you everyday, working in an environment where power is wielded with stifling control. The thought of going to work each morning brings trepidations to your heart. The undercurrent is charged with suspicious and malicious scheming. Discouraged, distressed and aggrieved, there is no one to turn to—none you can trust. Frustration turns to bitterness as the arm of flesh like a reed breaks under you. What do you do?
For you, it was a phone call that brought chaos into your ordered and stable life. A call from the doctor informing you a shocking diagnosis had been made, you sit as if rooted to the chair and gaze into the space yet seeing nothing. Slowly the news sinks in, and tears begin to flow as you sob in agony. What do you do?
Perhaps, you do not even need a doctor to tell you something is gone terribly wrong. You have been testifying of the joy of feeling full of life and strength, and within what seemed to be less than 48 hours, you see symptoms of affliction return with the ferocity of a wounded animal to harass you as if to challenge your right to live and enjoy life to the full.
What do you do?
Throw up your hands over your head and bowed in despair?
Wail and bemoan the situation as one without a glimmer of hope?
Live each day in fear of what will happen next?
Then is their mission not doubly accomplished?
Where do you go when you seek a refuge for your soul? To whom do you turn when you need a friend?
David's men were bitterly grieved when they found their wives, sons and daughters had been taken away—they might even have been killed—they wept until they had no power to weep. They were so grieved that they were ready to stone their leader. David also suffered the same calamity as his men—his wives had been taken away, he was greatly depressed.
But, he did something else –
He encouraged himself in the Lord.
He looked up to God to lift up his wounded spirit.
Then he asked God for direction and guidance as to what to do next (1Sam 30:1-8).
What do you do in time of great distress and calamity? When life serves you lemon so sour it set  your teeth on edge. Like David, you turn to God for comfort. It is only with Him you can make a meaning out of what life has dealt you. It is God who delivers from the hands of wicked and cruel men.
When a man loses hope, he loses a reason to live. Hopelessness brings heaviness to the spirit and causes depression but God strengthens the heart of those who hope in Him – Be strong and take heart all of you who hope in the Lord (Ps 31:24). We can not survive without the hope that Jesus gives.
Living in a world where calmness can easily turn to chaos in a moment, we need the Rock that never fails to depend on. We need to hold on and be anchored to an unchanging God Who provides us with stability and support in the midst of chaos.  It is a joyful experience to discover God as the pillar that can sustain all our weight. He is the pillar that holds our lives. We need the help and support of God for each day and the assurance that He is there for us come what may. We are always secured in the hands of God.
God is seeking to show Himself mighty in your life in each the situations described above. Anchored on the solid rock, you can make lemonade out of the lemons.
Your experience may put you at the right place at the right time to bring comfort to someone else struggling with the same problem.
You are not in that ‘toxic’ environment by accident. Your presence there has been ordered by providence to bring about a change—starting on your knees.
The devastating news may indeed be a call to rally—“if my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray …”
Perhaps this is the birthing place of the new thing God has planned for you. Ultimately, if only in this life we have hope in Christ then we are of all men most miserable.

How do you react to devastating news? Share your story and encourage others.

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