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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

For All Who Are in Need of Hope

Not everyone is suffering. Some people are having the time of their lives. Their jobs are doing well. They are growing closer to their spouses. Their children are excelling at everything. They do not think of hope because everything seems so good. God has certainly blessed you if this is your situation.

But does that mean that He hasn't blessed those who are going through a difficult time?

Our blessings are not determined by our circumstances. God has not forgotten those who are going through difficult times. He is using these times to draw people closer to Himself. This, too,  is a blessing.

However, there are many people who are struggling through the most difficult times of their lives which cannot see the blessing. They just want the pain to end. These are people who are about to be evicted, who haven't had a regular job in over a year, who are facing divorce or the loss of a child or have had their livelihood wiped out by a disaster. What do they have left?

They can have hope in the Lord. Hope is believing in something better than you presently have. It is seeing what you cannot see because you know the character of the Lord to love, provide, preserve and protect His children. It is claiming what you do not have because it has been promised to you. It is believing that His love has not left you so that you can know that He will carry you through whatever you are facing.

I suppose that the worse thing that can happen is giving up hope. Without hope you no longer get out of bed. You stop trying to make it. You stop believing.

The night can only get so dark. But every night is followed by a morning. The sun comes up and you can hope in that sun because of all the times it has risen after a dark night. You can recount all the times you have gone through difficult times and know they all had a shelf life. They can't last.

Yes, you are going through a difficult time but your hope in the Lord is that you will again praise Him for the moment He delivers you.

Of course, you can put your hope in other things. You can hope for a better economy or a better set of political leaders or the cavalry to ride up and save the day. I suppose God can use any of these things to deliver you but I assure you that these things will disappoint you. They have no love for you, nor do they care about you at all.

God loves you. He knows you. He died for you. You will praise Him again.

Why should you be downcast when the Lord of the universe loves you so much?

Psalm 42:11 (ESV)
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
        and why are you in turmoil within
Hope in God; for I shall again praise
        my salvation and my God.


Keena said...

I was blog hopping and found your post. Itsn't it amazing how God will show up when you least expect Him too. Thanks for the reminder for I am one of those that is going thru a difficult season of life and needed to be reminded in WHO I have hope. Thanks again!!!

Anthony Chia said...

What is blessing? God’s love is blessing. God’s love for you is your blessing. Our blessing is NOT in the riches, NOT in our intelligence, NOT in our youthfulness or beauty, NOT in our status, NOT in our many admirers or flatterers, NOT in our power and authority, NOT in our health, NOT even in our physical life! One way of summarizing the point that Jesus was making in Luke 6:20-26, is our blessing is in the love of God for us. How can be poor be blessed (yah, that what Luke 6:20 says)? It is because in our poverty, the love of God is shown and known to us. In fact, I can also accept blessing is knowing God’s love for you. God loves us, whether we know it or NOT, in that sense, there is already a blessing, but that blessing becomes personal and more easily “internalizable” when we know and even experience personally, that love of God. Granted, some of that love of God we will only fully appreciate it when we meet Him, yet whenever we know (and internalize) through, say, experience, the love of God, we are indeed blessed.

When you are rich, you lack NOT the comfort of life, so you experience NOT God’s love coming to grant you what you do NOT have; but the poor is different, for they lack, and in their lack, they experience God’s love coming to them to fill in the gap. In the same way, those in sickness or in affliction, compared with those with good health, and are doing fine in life, God’s love are poured forth on them in exceeding manner, more often; with greater realization (knowing and internalizing) our their part of God’s love being showered to them. You see, blessing is NOT the riches itself or the good health or lack of affliction in life, it is the realization of God is loving the person.

I am NOT saying riches or good health or smooth-sailing life cannot be given by God, rather riches, per se is NOT the blessing, good health, per se or smooth-sailing life, per se is NOT the blessing; these things in themselves are largely neutral. Similarly, I am NOT saying poverty or ill-health or affliction of life is blessing of God, I say nothing of that sort. In fact, I am opposed to people saying that sickness is good, or poverty is great or afflictions of life are to be sought after. We find ourselves in different circumstances of life, many are not even our own doing; like a rich young man can be rich because he was born with a silver spoon, and another young man is desperately poor for the same reason, being born into a poverty stricken family. The crux of the matter is that in whatever circumstance that we find ourselves in, we are to realize that God is loving us; if in your riches, you truly realize the love of God for you, you are blessed; if in your poverty, you also realize the love of God for you, you are blessed; the same can also be said for health or state of affliction in life. Godliness with contentment is difficult to achieve if you do NOT yet understand this revelation. The poor, the ill-health, the afflicted, the despised, and the likes, God said that they are blessed relative to their counter-parties, or more blessed, why? Because they more readily count much blessing; in other words, they are quick to realize the love of God is extended out to them. It is NOT that the rich is NOT blessed as such, it is they do NOT readily count their riches as blessing, as love of God for them; rather often they attributed them to their own capabilities.

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Anthony Chia said...

Continue from preceding comment …

The experience and realization of God’s love for one is priceless. Why? It is because love NOT only always hope (1 Cor 13:7), it gives hope, and if indeed it is a true love, it never fails (1 Cor 13:8). Because God loves us, He always hope (He hopes you will come to your senses, hopes you will turn back into the light and walk in the light, hopes you will come to know Him more, etc), and His love is what keeps our hope buoyant. The greater your realization of God’s love for you, the greater is your blessing, for the greater is your perseverance to cling on the higher level hopes, despite setbacks in life, even to the point of losing our loved ones or our life. Anthony Chia, high.expressions