Where is the hope?

Life isn’t easy. If you take one look at the news–at recent deaths and shootings and suicides, constant wars and killing–see the statistics for cutting or bullying, it becomes pretty clear that life is full of difficult circumstances that often don’t make sense and could hardly ever be labeled as “fair.”

Robin Williams, the most recently publicized suicide, is evidence that appearances can be deceiving and that life can sometimes be hard, even when we are doing something we love. Robin Williams often made people cry because they were laughing so hard–his was the life of a comedian, full of laughing on the outside but deep pain on the inside. It seems like there could have been so many who would’ve done so much to be there and encourage him through the painful times, but, for reasons we will never know, Robin Williams took a different route than many of us would have encouraged him to do. There is no simple explanation for things like this.

I don’t know where your life is at right now, I don’t know where your life has been, and I don’t know where your life is going. I don’t know what you struggle with, what your family is like, how your friends treat you, how you treat others. But, there is one thing I know. There is always hope, and that hope is found in a person.

Jesus Christ is the Game-Changer. He is the Difference-Maker. He is the Hope-Bringer.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Here is where the hope comes in–Jesus brings the hope! The hope of a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17), a fullness of life (John 10:10), a freedom from the penalty of sin (2 Corinthians 3:17), a relationship with the Creator God (John 1:12), and a Rock (Psalm 71:3) and Refuge (Psalm 119:114; Proverbs 18:10) in times of trouble.

Jesus Christ loves the outcast, loves the hurt, the loser, the lost, the confused, the mentally ill, the physically handicapped, the bullied, the depressed, the loner, the one who thinks he or she could never be pretty or desirable or loved. Jesus loves us all and shows so often in the Bible where He is loving and caring toward those who don’t even know Him yet (Romans 5:8).

But, He doesn’t stop there; He doesn’t just love people. He wants to know you. He wants to know you. He wants you to be overwhelmed with wonder at who He is (Mark 9:15), because He is full of love and grace and mercy.

So, if you want to know Him, discover who He is. Feel free to ask me, or read the Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John specifically) to discover who He is. That is Jesus Christ.

Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say that He will make our lives easy. He doesn’t say that He will take away the depression, or take away the bully, or make it easier for you to make friends, or make your parents love each other again–in fact Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

So, your situation may stay the same. Your problem may not go away. But, when you know Jesus Christ and confess and believe in Him, He lightens your load. You don’t have to carry it all on your own. You shouldn’t carry it all on your own, because let’s face it, can we really carry everything ourselves? I know I can’t, but I also know I often try to do it on my own, and inevitably fail. Again, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He won’t necessarily take away the burden, but He will help you carry the load, He will lighten the load, and when things get really tough He becomes our Rock and our Refuge; when everything around us is shaking, He is our still foundation.

God loves you and you are precious in His sight. I love you because God loves you. We are all His creation, and He wants us to be a part of His family. Join in His family and it will lighten the load because you will never again be alone.

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