April 15, 2020
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It started out as a major battle for Jason. It turned out to be a major blessing for someone else. In early March, Jason's symptoms were just a mild cough and congestion. Then the headaches. Then the fever, the body aches, and the shortness of breath. And, you guessed it, by mid-March the test showed he had coronavirus. He isolated himself for ten days to protect his wife and his 11-month-old daughter. Finally, he was able to announce on social media that the medical folks said he had beaten it. It was about that time, there was another COVID patient, though, in his area who was in dire condition and not responding to medications. That's when they contacted Jason to see if he'd be willing to help with an experimental treatment - donating his plasma to be given to the endangered patient. Hoping Jason's antibodies from fighting COVID might help, they gave him those antibodies. They gave him that plasma. Last report - that patient was breathing better each day and starting to recover. Jason looked back on his COVID battle and said: "This thing ended up possibly saving someone's life."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I'd like to have A Word With You today about "Your Battle, Their Hope."
Hopefully, you haven't had to battle coronavirus. But I'm sure you've had plenty of battles. Haven't we all? Fighting loneliness or grief. Depression. Addiction. A lot of battles. Anger. A broken relationship. Maybe a disease or a disability or a divorce. Sometimes it's a battle to stop a habit or an attitude or a way we treat people.
Those kinds of battles are one reason the message of Jesus Christ is called "Gospel" which means "good news"! Because, in the Bible's words, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone; a new life has begun" (2 Corinthians 5:17). That cross where Jesus died for the sin and the brokenness of your life...that empty tomb where Jesus proved His power to conquer every enemy - they have the power to change what no one else can change. To heal what no one else can heal. To bring hope where there was no hope.
So as a follower of Jesus, you are actually living proof of a living Savior! And there are battles in your life that couldn't have been won except for Jesus. Which means you represent hope to someone who battles a battle like yours - but they have no Savior to win those battles.
Just like a recovered COVID patient, you have what someone else needs to be healed. It's in what I call your Hope Story! Listen to this statement from the Bible that reveals what can open the heart of someone you care about to Jesus. It's in 1 Peter 3:15, our word for today from the Word of God.
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." Did you get that... "the hope that you have." Your story of how Jesus made all the difference in your battle. How what happened on that middle cross tore down the wall between you and God so you could have a love relationship with your Creator. And how that love has changed everything! Including the outcome of your battle.
Someone you care about needs to hear how Jesus' story changed your story - and could change their story forever! People can argue with your beliefs - but they can't argue with your personal Hope Story. And because you're talking about you, they don't have to get defensive.
It is your best possible way to explain the life-changing difference Jesus makes!
So start praying today for God to open doors - natural opportunities - for you to share His story through your story. Pray for God to open their heart - and your mouth. What was your battle can become their hope. Their hope of having their sins forgiven. Of winning their battle. Of going to heaven with you someday. You have a powerful tool in your hope story.
And one day maybe you'll be able to say, like that COVID patient said when he was able to give healing help to another person. You'll be able to say about that battle in your life - "This thing ended up saving someone's life!"