Thursday, October 22, 2009
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The train left Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, at 7:30 in the morning, headed for a popular resort area along the Indian Ocean. The train never made it. It was suddenly hit by this massive wall of water - that killer tsunami, you remember, that devastated so much of South Asia. The force of the waves tore the wheels off of some cars and leveled the train in this grove of palm trees. In one of those countless heart-wrenching scenes that came out of the tsunami aftermath, one young man at the train site wept in the arms of his friends as the body of his girlfriend was buried. He spoke out to this sweetheart who had died on that train: "We met in university. Is this the fate we hoped for?" Then, as he began to sob even more, he said, "My darling, you were the only hope for me."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "One 'Unloseable' Hope."
It's hard to think of a more devastating feeling than losing what you had put all your hopes in. Maybe that's a feeling you know if you've lost your health, the love of your life, your job, your retirement, an anchor person in your life, the thing you've invested so much in, the thing - or the person - that's been the glue sort of holding your life together. I have friends who have been told by their marriage partner of decades, "I don't love you anymore." When I asked one of those friends how he's doing, he just said, "I'm crushed."
So many of us have either lost, or will lose, someone or something that we had put a lot of our hopes in. Hope is snatched away by death, divorce, desertion, disease, disaster. Suddenly, our life is thrown into confusion and anxiety, even despair. What we need is something to put our hope in that's "unloseable" - something that can't be touched by death or disease, or divorce, or disaster; something that will never desert us. Actually, someone who will never desert us. Surprisingly, many people have discovered that in losing the source of their hope, they finally found the one hope they could never lose. It could happen to you.
That hope is spelled out beautifully in Psalm 62, beginning with verse 1, our word for today from the Word of God. "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I will never be shaken...Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." The only life-anchor, the only life-hope you can never lose is a personal love relationship with God. God alone. Not a religion, but a relationship. It's possible to have a lot of religion and you totally miss the relationship with God that you were made for. Any hope we get from anyone or anything on earth is just an unsatisfying substitute for belonging to God. When you belong to Him and you know you do, your soul finally can, as the psalmist said, "rest." But until you belonging to God, your soul is rest-less.
That unloseable relationship with God comes only one way, because we're away from the God we need so much; away by our choice, not His. We've repeatedly chosen our way instead of His way and we've built an eternal wall between us and God. A wall that God Himself acted to tear down by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for all our sins when He died on the cross. That is how much He loves you. That's how much He wants you. But you've got to want Him bad enough to say, "I'm sorry for my sin, God. I don't want it to be this way anymore. I'm putting all my hope and all my trust in Your Son who gave His life so I could belong to You."
If that's what you want, why don't you tell Him that today. And I'd love to have you get more information and more of what the Bible has to say about being sure you have this relationship by just getting to our website. That's really what it's there for. Just go to YoursForLife.net. And I think you'll find there what many others have found - the assurance that you actually belong to Jesus Christ.
The hope you've lost and the emptiness you feel could actually lead you today to the hope that you will never lose. Hope has a name. His name is Jesus.