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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hopless Situations and the Glory of God

For those few who may read both blogs, forgive this repeat. I'd recently posted this on Rockportviews, but wanted to share it here as well.


Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Hopeless situations must be some of God’s favorite things, for he always seems to show up in the middle of them. Think of all the hopeless places in the Bible where God has made his presence known.
  • Abram is over a hundred years old with a post-menopausal wife who’s never been able to get pregnant. But God says, “I’m going to give you a son.”
  • The children of Israel have their backs to the wall – the Red Sea in front of them, Pharaoh’s army behind them – with no place to run either left or right. There’s no way out of this jam. But God tells Moses, “Stand back and you will see the salvation of the Lord”
  • Gideon’s army is whittled down to 600 men, when God tells him to defeat a Midianite hoard of thousands.
  • And who could forget David the shepherd boy sent out to face the Giant; or Daniel in the Lion’s Den; or the young virgin girl who’s told she will bear God’s Son even though she’s never been intimate with any man.
  • And then there is Christ, God’s Messiah, hanging on a cross, despised and rejected by the very people He came to save. What hope could there be in such a Man? Or what hope is there for the ragamuffin band of disciples He sends out to evangelize the world.
God, it seems, does his best work when he puts us in impossible places. That theme, of God’s strength made perfect in our weakness, is what drives the action in Mark 5. Here Jesus steps in to rescue three different people who are drowning in despair: A man controlled by evil, a woman afflicted with an incurable illness, and a father grieving the death of his only child. In each case, it seems like a hopeless situation! But then, that’s just where God’s grace shines best.

I was thinking about this chapter the other day, when it occurred to me, that the real miracle here is not just what Jesus did for these individuals, but who He shows Himself to be in each case.

One man is possessed by demons – Satan has taken over His life! Jesus comes and sets him free. But that's not all. 1 John 3:8 says, “the Son of God has come to destroy the works of the devil.” Jesus not only has power to set this man free. He came to purify all His people from sin and it’s terrible consequences

The woman is suffering under the crushing weight of a terrible affliction. And Jesus heals her of her affliction. But Isaiah 53:4 goes on to say “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; . . .by his stripes we are healed. Christ came to take upon Himself our wounds and our sins and bear them away to the cross!

A child was dead! Beyond all hope of recover. And Jesus raises her from the dead. But even more, in John 11:25 Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in me will live, even though He dies.” He Himself is our source of Life! Eternal Life comes to us by trusting in Him!

In each one of these cases, Jesus not only gives what each one needs! He Himself is what they need! He is our victory over sin! He is our healing righteousness! He is our resurrection life! In other words, we don’t come to Him for what He gives! We come to Him, by faith trusting Who He is!

My prayer is that thought will give you hope in a lot of "hopeless situations" as you look by faith to Him


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