February 20th, 2018 — IGNITE

In the past you may have heard me say, "If you have no hope, you have no future. And if you have no future, you have no hope." I don't remember where that came from… I don't know if that's a quote I read from some brilliant person… I don't know if I heard some speaker utter those words… I don't know if I made that up… but this I do know… I've felt that way before and maybe you have to. Maybe you're there right now or know somebody who is there right now.

When you don't have any hope, there is no future. You can't see that far ahead. Everything is darkened and dismal. And when you don't have any future, when you can't see any sunshine in your days to come, any deliverance from your overcast life, you sort of shrivel up and dry out.

But here's what the Bible says…
"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God." Psalm 42:11

The word hope is a funny word. When you look it up, the dictionary will say something about it being a desire for something… a yearning… a wish… and a feeling of expectancy. If you look at an old dictionary or the usage of the word in older, more archaic writings however, it's used in place of the words, "confidence" and "trust."

You know from your own experience what it feels like when your soul is downcast. You may not want to admit it out loud, but you know that sluggish, drawn out feeling. The storms buffeting your life seem unending and so intense. Everything is magnified. Everything seems to go wrong all at the same time. You may have lost your job. Then when you needed your friends, they turned on you. You lost a loved one. You lost your home. You misplaced that needed file. Your failed the test. Crashed your car. Everything was compounded. Anything and everything that could go wrong – went wrong. Mr. Murphy and his stupid law were having a grand ole time at your expense.

Here's my word of encouragement for you today: I know you've experienced such a storm as that, just as you know I have. Maybe right now, you're celebrating that the storm has past and the sun is starting to shine. Maybe you're still in it. Whatever time of life you're in right now, remember this- our hope, which is our complete confidence, trust and faith, is founded not on the moment, but upon the Living God.

The old hymn says…
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus Name
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand!

You are our hope today and everyday. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen