Have you ever wondered what life would be like without Hope? Without Hope for tomorrow? Hope for external life? Of course God knows the importance of Hope. He sent Jesus to walk among men and to die on a cross. Because of Jesus’ life and His death there is Hope for all who believe.
According to Pastor Ronnie McBrayer from Detroit, “Hope is the fuel that moves human spirit along when life appears unlivable, when marriages fail, when sickness invades or when our financial future collapses.”
I would like to share two stories about Hope from my book The Gift Is You and from a talk I gave on July 31, 2011.
The first is about starfish. Some of you may be familiar with the starfish story. It goes something like this-There was an old man that lived along the Atlantic Ocean. Each morning he would walk along the beach. Occasionally he would reach down and pick up an object and then throw it into the ocean. One morning one of his neighbors was a bit curious so he followed him. He saw the old man reaching down and picking up a starfish. He would then throw it into the ocean. The neighbor asked “Hey old man why are you throwing those starfish back into the ocean”? The old man looked at his neighbor and said “These starfish have been washed up on the beach and if they stay on the beach for a long period of time they are going to die from dehydration.” The neighbor looked at the old man and said “Are you crazy? This beach goes on for hundreds of miles. Do you really think that throwing a few starfish back in the ocean is going to make any difference”? At that moment the old man looked down at a starfish. He threw it back into the ocean. “I guess it makes a difference to this one, doesn’t it?”
So my friends there is another beach out there called the beach of life. There is another man out there on the beach and his name is Jesus. He is on the beach every second of our life. He is out there to remind us that He is there for Hope. Jesus is walking that beach to remind us no matter what the tragedy is He is going to be there for you and me. Because of Him we will not die on the Beach of Life if we only believe. He is there to remind us there is Hope no matter what life throws at us.
The last story I want to share is about a security guard. God wants us to give all those in need His special gift of Hope.
It was a Friday afternoon and I needed to go to the Social Security office to clear up a dispute between Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Medicare. As I entered the office I went to the computer to sign in and list why I was there. I was having some problems and the security guard came over to help me. As I was leaving the office he started following me until I got to my van. He said “Sir, can I talk to you about something?” Not knowing what I said “yes.” He proceeded to say “From the minute you rolled into the Social Security office, I knew you were different. Whatever makes you special and different, I want!” I looked at him and I could tell he was very serious and he had tears in his eyes. I proceeded to tell him there were two things that made me special and different. First you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe that nobody is better than you. If you don’t believe that, nobody will. I told him the last point was the most important. You have to believe in God. You have to know that God is your Savior; because if you do, God will walk by your side every second of your life. He looked at me with tears in his eyes. He proceeded to tell me that his life was in a downward spiral. Nothing was going right. He had even thought about taking his life-and then he saw me with that twinkle in my eyes. “God sent you to my angel today. Because of you there is Hope with Jesus.” We both had tears in our eyes. God used me to give Hope to one of His children in need.
This is what the Bible says about Hope in Psalms 55:16-18. “But I call to God and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning, and noon. I cry out in distress and He hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me even though many opposed me.”
There is Hope because of the cross and the empty tomb. Not only is there Hope for today, there is Hope for tomorrow and eternity-just ask the starfish and the security guard.
For my complete talk I gave on Hope on July 31, 2011 please click here.