October 17, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
A Ray of Hope
Millions of People all over the world are searching for a ray of hope. When we look at the events of just this year, we find much to beconcerned about. Our world is facing one major crisis after another. Millions are facing starvation due to the high costs of food. From one end of the globe to the other the specter of war hangs over mankind. We have also seen the world struck with one natural disaster after another.
Yet, in spite of these threats and others, I can say with confidence that in a world seemingly headed for disaster we can take hope and consolation. Hope is not to be found in something, but rather in someone. In one individual we can find an answer to the fear that is clutching the hearts of so many today. I recently heard a desperate person say that in the midst of her suffering and pain, the only thread of hope she could find was to repeat over and over the name, “Jesus.”
I would add to her voice my own, and say to each and every sufferer, wherever you may be, that hope can be found in someone and his name is Jesus. Millions of believers all over the world have found in Jesus a voice of consolation in our hour of distress. In my heart I can race back through the events of my life. My memory is replete with times and events where I have suffered, yet I and no one else has ever suffered as He did. He, by his great love and Devotion, gave his life to purchase for us eternal life. I and every believer have our own stories to tell. We each, however, are connected by a divine thread to Calvary; to the gentle Nazarene who gave himself for us.
For to know Jesus is be transformed from the inside into sons and daughters of God. This transformation has been accomplished by the divine heart and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. From the moment I met him this internal transformation had begun. We, one and all, had been unlovable, but like a gentle summer rain the blood of Jesus washed away the guilt and sin that was ours. Yet he has done far more than this.
In my heart and the hearts of millions down through the ages, He has healed those inner wounds and sorrows and stilled the voices of grief and rage that course through the souls of all humanity. He has always been there in the moments of my greatest sorrow, deepest remorse, and darkest inner conflict. It has been His voice, His hand, that has stilled the storms that raged in my heart. I cannot count the number of times in my life when all seemed lost.
I, like the disciples, found myself cast upon the roaring waves of my life’s greatest turmoil. It was at these times that He came walking to me on the waves of my inner consternation and by His love and mere presence calmed the storm and set this oppressed heart free.
He gave me love and compassion when my heart needed it the most and deserved it the least. In the day-to-day living out of my life by His love, example, and kind guiding hand, He transformed me. So if I can now love, if the tears of compassion can run down my cheeks at the suffering of another, if my hand and heart can in any way reach out to some poor lost hurting soul, it is only because little by little He has done his work in me and changed my heart.
So, poor hurting soul, I offer to you the handiwork of my Lord Jesus Christ. His message is alive and well in the hearts of countless numbers of His followers around the globe. His voice is demonstrated with every helping hand reached out to the desperate all around us. His message is seen in every soup kitchen, homeless shelter, and act of Christian charity. His life can be seen in the kind eyes and generous hearts of His devoted followers. We followers of Christ can offer hope because of one man, one God, one Lord – our Lord Jesus Christ.