Lately everything for us has been good. I feel like we are in a good place financially, with both of our work situations, with relationships, and just with life in general. But I have several friends who are in the middle of going through some very very hard stuff.
There's a friend who is working so hard to serve Jesus. She's doing everything she can to dive deeper and learn to trust and help others get there too. But Satan knows and he hates what she is doing and what she's learning. He's turning everything she knows into a lie. I know she's trying to hang on, but I can see something cracking. I don't know how much more she can stand.
There's a young girl who is fighting for her life. She's heard about Jesus all her life but she doesn't think it can be true. To her, that amount of power and love and goodness can't possibly exist. She's fighting through fear and pressure to be popular and pretty and smart and athletic and good all at the same time. She doesn't even know that perfection outside of Christ is just a cleverly crafted lie. She's trying to escape, but the razors and the drugs aren't enough anymore. She's desperate, but she doesn't even know what she's searching for.
And there's a man. A man with a boy inside somewhere but his heart is calloused from years of seeing and doing hard things. He has to keep his heart hard to keep himself strong, but he's forgotten that strength comes from the Lord. He belongs to Jesus, always and forever, but it's been years since he's spoken that powerful Name. He turns to the bottle to forget that's he's lonely and hurting and afraid, and he wraps it all up cleverly, hidden behind his humor and his good looks. He's holding it all together, for now.
This morning I was praying. For some of these people I didn't even have words. Their pain is dark and haunting and so so real. Their situations are so different: one trying to live it out, one prodigal who doesn't know what lost is, and one who's never even known the truth. But for each scenario, each pain-filled journey, there is one over-arching solution.
He's the only hope we have.
He's the only hope we will ever have.
That sounds cliche, but I don't mean it that way. I mean to say that the only hope for the desperate, the dying, the searching or the lost is the powerful, life-giving Savior. The name of Jesus is enough to send the powers of darkness running in fear because it's the Name above any other.
It takes real courage to fight when it feels hopeless, to get up in the morning when your heart is tired and there doesn't seem to be a reason to keep going on, to cling for life day by day by day to the only Source of life.
But, we have this Hope.
John 16:33 "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 "We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
If you're searching and you don't know how to start, consider telling Him. Look for Him. Ask Him to show up. He is so faithful.
And if your life is going great? Don't be fooled. Jesus is your only hope too. Without Him we are all just slowly dying in our own sin. With Him, we have the power that raised the dead to life, the love that reached out to lepers and the unwanted, the grace that searched each of us out in the middle of our mess. There is no salvation apart from Jesus (John 14:6). And if your life is good right now, maybe there's someone in your life who is struggling? They don't need you to understand or to have gone through the same thing, but they do need your love and your prayers. And sometimes, they might just need someone to remind them that there is a Hope.