Hope In the Middle of Despair

Connecting Points

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today’s Topic:  Hope In the Middle of Despair

Today’s Text:  Isaiah 16:5  In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it—one from the house of David—one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.

I am overwhelmed with the awesomeness of God and His timing. I had no sooner completed writing the title of today’s Connecting Point when the phone rang. It was my nephew from North Dakota. He drives truck and calls me occasionally from the road. Usually we jab each other about our favorite football teams (he hates the Vikings), and talk about everyday stuff.

Today’s call was different. There was despair in his voice. I asked him what was wrong. He told me that his mother-in-law, who has been homebound on oxygen for the last three years, was being transported to the hospital in Fargo with serious breathing difficulties and was probably not going to make it. Meanwhile, he’s in Grand Island, Nebraska 500 miles away.

As I listened to him my eyes were glued to the title and the Bible verse for today. After he was done sharing what was going on, I told him about God’s timing, and that I had just finished writing the title. I read it to him. He listened tenderly. I read the verse to him. He listened quietly except for the occasional sniffle. I told him about the King who is coming, and that He is our only true hope. Sniffle. I asked him to put his hope in the Lord.

Every day we are surrounded with despair. It overwhelms us at times and it feels like there’s nothing we can do. We begin to believe that all hope is gone. It is at that moment that the Holy Spirit comes with the love of God and says, Put your hope in God. If you listen carefully He is speaking to you right now. Maybe these words from the Psalms will help you hear Him.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.   My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?   My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”   These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving    among the festive throng.   Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and   my God. You are God my stronghold.  Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (from Psalm 42 and 43)

Pastor John

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