Finding Joy in the Journey


Why do Christians suffer trials? Have you ever wondered? The Bible teaches that we who believe in Jesus are God’s adopted children; why would He allow us to suffer? A mature Christian knows. We suffer so we can empathize with others who do not have the same Hope. Notice I capitalized the word. Hope. You see, Hope is not just a word to a follower of Jesus, Hope is a person. He is God. He is Jesus. Are you lonely? Think about Hope. He left His home, the splendor of heaven, to come to earth. The King of Kings was born in the most humble setting: a stable. His was not a princely cradle, no, it was a manger…a feed trough where cows and donkeys were fed. (2 Corinthians 8:9) People in his hometown scoffed at Hope. They did not recognize Hope, even though he had grown up beside them. Are you angry? What are you angry about? Hope got angry too. But His anger was directed at injustice. He was angry when He watched religious leaders mislead His people. He made a public display of his indignation. Hope even expressed frustration with His disciples when they tried to discourage women and children from spending time with Him. Read the gospel of Mark. Are you depressed? Jesus understands. He knew His mission on earth. As the end of His mission approached, He went to the Mount of Olives to wait and pray. The Bible says His agony was so great as He prayed, that His sweat was “like drops of blood.” Hope must have felt the weight of the whole world on His shoulders that night. But instead of letting depression rule His heart and mind, He submitted to God’s will. Death. Hope suffered. Hope died. He submitted to the cruelest form of execution ever devised in the mind of man. He was beaten. His beard was pulled out. He was mocked by the Roman soldiers, who put a crown of thorns upon His head. And the very people He taught, healed and fed rejected Him. They gave up their hope. But you don’t have to. Hope is alive! Three days after His execution, Hope breathed again. For forty days, Hope and His disciples prepared for His departure. Hundreds of people saw Him after the resurrection. All His disciples were executed, all but one. They went to their death willingly, knowing that Hope is alive. The remaining disciple was exiled; but he did not give up. No, John told the story of Hope. The greatest story of all. Jesus is alive! And He will soon return. You may feel that you’re all alone. You’re not. You may feel so far away from God because you think He will reject you. He won’t. He loves you. You may think there’s no way to earn your way into heaven. This, my friend, is true. You are not good enough. Neither am I. But the beauty of Hope is that you don’t have to be good enough. All you need is Hope. Seek Him out. The Bible says if you seek Him, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:12-13). Hope came to earth. Hope died for you; three days later, Hope rose from the grave. He went to heaven, but Hope will return. And He is coming soon. Hope loves you; He wants to be your friend. He longs for you to know Him. Pray. Seek Him out. Ask for His forgiveness and He will wipe your slate clean. We will all stand before God one day. When you face Him, he will say one of two things. If you know Him, He will say, “Welcome home.” If you don’t, He will tell you to, “Depart from Me; I never knew you.” Hope is the bridge. He is the answer. He came to earth because He loves you. Please don’t reject Him! Turning to Hope is the most important decision you will ever make. Your very life depends on it. Find a family of believers who believe and teach the truth. Yes, there is absolute truth. Read the Bible. Pray. Seek out Hope. He is waiting for you.

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