Hopeful or Hopeless?
By Greg Laurie - Harvest Devotionals On June 14, 2012
Everyone hopes in something. Some hope in themselves. Like Maria in The Sound of Music, they have "confidence in confidence." But that is not going to sustain them.
Others put their hope in technology. Still others put their hope in politicians.
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But I have a tried and tested place where you can put your hope. Put it in God. He never will let you down. That is true because the Bible says it is true, but I also know it is true from a personal standpoint, because I have put it to the test. God has been there for me, and he will be there for you. No matter what you face in life, He will walk with you through it. As the psalmist said, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me" (Psalm 23:4).
You are either hopeful or hopeless. The Bible says, "The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish" (Proverbs 10:28). So hope in God.
Is that where your hope is? Maybe you are facing a crisis right now. Maybe you have just heard the worst news imaginable. Maybe you are going through troubles in your marriage . . . troubles at work . . . troubles with your family . . . health troubles . . . financial troubles. The list goes on. Maybe you're in anguish or anxiety right now, and you're wondering what to do.
Here is what you do: You call out to God. And here is the great hope that every Christian has. No matter what happens in life, we have the guaranteed assurance that when we die, we will go to heaven. Now, that is called a win-win situation.
I'd like to share with you a letter I received from a father who was without hope, but who called out to God and found the hope he was looking for:
Dear Pastor Laurie,
Several years ago, I was blessed to be introduced to your ministry after listening to your broadcast on my local radio station on the drive in to work. To say the least, you were a voice in my wilderness, since my introduction to your ministry was on the heels of a devastating time in my life. So much was going wrong and life was nothing more than a proverbial plunge downward towards an elusive rock bottom. And in the midst of my family's tribulation, my wife and I reached our wits' end concerning what to do with our son who was battling the stronghold of an opiate addiction.
Alex, our youngest son, was our pride and joy who was filled with such promise and beauty of spirit. God had perfected creating him just for us. At age 13, he asked for a guitar for Christmas and taught himself how to play. Within one year, he had become a promising young musician and songwriter, churning out original music and auditioning for Victory Records. But a visit to the local emergency room one day at age 15 to treat a painful boil introduced him to Oxycodone, which initiated his rapid descent into the demonic realm of drug addiction.
When Alex turned 19, all the years of rehab, therapists, group sessions, meetings, tears, and promises, hadn't done anything to quench Alex's thirst for drugs or prevent that soul-wrenching call we received one fateful night. When we arrived at the hospital, the doctors questioned whether he would make it through the night. As he lay there, unrecognizable as our son because of what was in his system, God was merciful to our cries and spared his life. When Alex recovered days later, he agreed to attend an out-of-state rehabilitation facility in Florida. With that, we sent him off to Florida, complete with the laying on of hands by our pastor and a prayer for the miraculous.
When Alex returned, he joined the local Narcotics Anonymous group, determined to be victorious over his addiction. In despair over Alex and the other ordeals facing my family that were equally calamitous, I requested a copy of your book The Greatest Stories Ever Told for inspiration. One day, while I was reading it, the Spirit moved me to introduce my son to you and I handed him the book before I had a chance to finish reading it. That day was the beginning of Alex's life the way God intended it to be, for on that day, you became my son's Ananias. Alex cleaved to every word of your ministry and read your book backwards and forwards. He embraced God and surrendered himself to Jesus and claimed victory over his addiction. You need to know that you are a big part of this family and your book and radio ministry has touched the lives of all of us, individually and corporately.
But that is only the beginning because now, at 23, Alex is the Youth Director at our local church. So in love with the Lord is he that Alex walked away from a recording label to go into full-time ministry and become the Junior Worship Leader at our church. He is married and both he and his wife love the Lord and are on the church staff.
John 15:13 reads, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." You, Pastor Laurie, have fulfilled this verse in baring your own personal loss to continue magnifying the Lord so my son could have life in Christ Jesus. Thank you for clearing the scales from my son's eyes and leading him to the Lord.