Monday, December 18, 2006

Isaiah 8:16-9:1; Psalms 41, 52; 2 Peter 1:1-11; Luke 22:39-53

As I’m standing on the beach, watching wave after wave come crashing ashore, I think about how vast the world is. How small our troubles may seem, but what burdens we carry. What is it like to hold on to hope? When we struggle with life’s challenges, there is hope: hope of salvation, hope of Jesus’ coming, hope of heaven. We put our hope in God because he is strong enough to sustain us. Hope gives our life meaning. Hope helps us see the bigger picture.

In Luke, the Lord understands the suffering he must endure, the sacrifice he must make to open the gates of heaven. During the Lord’s struggles, he prayed. He asked his disciples to pray. Do we turn from God in grief, striking him down? Or do we turn to him in our hour of need and know that to suffer is human, but the hope of something greater is to come? As we read about Jesus’ own suffering, we know he walks along side us in our hour of need. God cares for individual people, including you and me. That is why Jesus suffered on the cross.

From the lament of Psalms 41 and 52, when we experience pain that won’t abate, how do we deal with our distress? Because we are Christians, we can hold on to hope. We can offer prayer to the Lord. There is a purpose to our life, to the gifts and talents we have been given. We are loved, and we are called to be God’s people. Goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love endure.

When the waves crash over you, when your breath is taken away because of distress, hold on to hope. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is our hope.

- Jodie Leach

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