Saturday’s meeting (June 10, 2023) did not disappoint. Our God is ever faithful! He knows what He wants to bring about and He enacts and accomplishes His plan through us.
As always, we did not know who (or how many) would come. We desire for them
to come expecting something, but how much better when they come for other
reasons and God just sweeps them off their feet! With a thankful spirit, I can say
the right number of people came; the God-intended people came and some got
swept off their feet. God wanted to bring a message full of power to those who
have lost hope, or wonder where it went!
A person who feels hopeless and helpless at the same time, is near dead, but if
there is still a pulse, there is still time and there is a way to once again experience
hope. It requires action—every person has an individual choice to make. First,
they must be willing to receive the hope and then begin to live in it. To be clear, the
hopelessness we are talking about is not about feeling a little off one day or feeling
a little “blue” or depressed one day. Hopeless means NO HOPE; no expectation of
any good or success; despair. Hopelessness can come when one feels helpless and
powerless—trapped! And it often leads a person to thoughts of why they should
even go on living.
Finding hope in these extreme situations does not consist of wishing. A wish is like
an empty cloud going nowhere. Hope is completely different—being foundational,
of substance, concrete, and anchored in the expectation of something good. Hope
has weight to it with feet firmly planted and immovable. It can be shaken but not
We had planned to use the story of the Prodigal Son as a launching point to discuss
hopelessness, but Paul’s Shipwreck (Acts 27) on the way to Rome replaced it and
that’s what we went with. It is the recounting of Paul’s story—a story of utter
hopelessness turned into hope and life! (I encourage you to read it, more than once,
and place yourself within the story to learn how it may relate to your life.)
The desire is to have each participant identify in some way with the story and in an
open and “safe” atmosphere set by the Holy Spirit, for them to share their
experiences of hopelessness and how they coped with them. We prayed for
changed hearts before anyone leaves the room and our great God did not
We had barely begun when we realized that over half of us had been to that dark
place at the bottom, where hope departs completely. Lively discussion set the pace
for the evening and we did not fail to praise God and give thanks to him along the
way. The group was reminded, for those who have not been to this dark place, it is
almost guaranteed that you will run across someone in your daily travels who is
without hope. You then, may be the torchbearer bringing light and hope to others.
Exploring and sharing our experiences should lead us to discover how to acquire
and receive hope.
The plain truth is: Turning to Jesus is ALWAYS the right first step!
There are many “Words” of Jesus that guide us in the way to receiving hope, for
He is the Hope of Glory!
“…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)
“Come unto me, … and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28)
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33)
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye
may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Rom.15:13)
“The hope of the righteous [honorable character and integrity] is joy…" (Pv.
“But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;” (Is 40:31)
What an evening! Everyone had received something from our faithful Lord Jesus
Christ. But then, we all rejoiced along with the angels in heaven when one soul,
who admitted that God had been pursuing her, humbled herself and turned her life
over to King Jesus. She was born again and set off on a fresh new journey of life!
This message was not just for listening and thinking about hope, but in power, for
rising up to receive hope. A choice! An action! It is simple; it is strong; it is
"I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness." (John 12:46)