I recently made some delicious Apple Butter for my neighbors for Christmas. When I was finished, the sides of the crock pot were covered with burned, stuck-on sugar that wouldn’t come off no matter how hard I scrubbed. I heard … Continue reading
8 years ago yesterday my life was forever changed when our daughter died. My pain was incomprehensible, even to me. I was in so much pain that I cried in my sleep and while awake. I truly thought that God hated me, especially after walking through years of life-threatening sickness and pain, the premature birth of our son, the challenges he faced, and now this death. It was more than I could bear on my own. Honestly, I didn’t even know how to pray…I just cried. Then, over the course of time, He did something I will never forget…He drew near to me. He drew me to Himself and His Grace. This encounter took my orphaned, devastated and broken heart and transformed it with His love. I like to say that He jump-started my heart back to life again with His love.
Now, here I am 8 years into this new place and of course I still long for my daughter, I grieve for my daughter, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that my God loves me and that He loves her and so my grief is now with HOPE. I know that He found me in my hopeless places and gave me life again. I know that He has healed my body and my son and my daughter. I also know that the impossible has happened in me after so much pain, no, actually in the middle of my pain and there is no way I could ever do this on my own….I now rejoice.
If you find yourself believing or feeling like God hates you, I pray that you will be encouraged to open your heart to Jesus. Letting Him in, is the way to life again, especially after devastation. He is the way. He draws close to the brokenhearted. He is love. Love is not an attribute of God, it is God.
http://youtu.be/IoezWBPGRAc (Check out this amazing song, too!)
“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love.” 1 Peter 1:3-8a
I love a good movie. But, an absolute requirement for me is that it must have a happy ending. I am okay with the character(s) going through great difficulties, but I will not entertain a story teller who does not have the foresight to tell the redemption of the hardship. Why sell yourself short? Unless of course you don’t believe in happy endings…but I must tell you…
Even if you don’t believe in happy endings, Happy Endings Believe in You!!!
I can understand, to a degree, why you personally might not be a believer of a happy ending given the way your story has played out so far…
- Your setting may be a home filled with alcoholism, abuse, mental instability, raging, negligence, pain, sickness, poverty, perfection, rejection, abandonment and grief.
- Your characters have been introduced one by one and we can just imagine the variety and complexity here…
- And your theme has been layed out. That is, the underlying idea of who you are, what you are about, why you are here, where you are going, and to think these messages have bombarded you since conception…
It is no wonder why a happy ending is not too high on the priority list or gone completely from your horizon. For some, it is just a miracle that you have even made it this far to live to tell.
But, even in the midst of these lifelong great and overwhelming messages, we have an even greater message of hope that I would like to share with you today. A living hope that can completely dominate the landscape of a life devastated, cheated and defeated. A hope that is alive. A hope that cannot die. It cannot be separated from us. It cannot be lost. It cannot be corrupted or defiled or fade away. This hope is kept alive by the power of God Himself. This living hope is Jesus Christ and it came through His resurrection from the dead. Christians know this to be Easter Sunday’s meaning. Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
Above, verses 6 and 7 say, you may have been grieved by (my word-unimaginable) trials and tested by fire. Their importance to our landscape, is to reveal a genuineness of faith. This means to me, that He will/has shown you what is really important in this life and what is not important in this life so that you never get the two confused again; a means to hold on to peace against all odds. Verse 7 concludes, “may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
And this my friends is the turning point to any amazing story, the revelation of Jesus. This will meet you wherever you find yourself today. If you have never heard of Him before, just recently heard of Him or have known Him all your life, the revelation of Jesus Christ hinges the door of all living hope. He alone is your happy ending. Relationship with Him is the great reward and you can have that now on this Earth while we await the saving of our souls eternally. Call out to Him today for His salvation.
How else could Peter write verse 8 if he had not seen this revelation work out in other’s lives, “whom having not seen you love.” How can you love someone you have never seen? You love because when He is revealed to you, you get this amazing understanding that He loves you and no matter what setting you have been given, His love is greater. No matter what characters speak into your life, His love speaks louder. And no matter what theme has been presented, His message for you is stronger. His love never fails, it never disappoints and it is alive! Your circumstances may or may not change, your setting can change, the characters in your life will come and go, but the revelation of a love that never fails, never disappoints, never abandons you, never forsakes or rejects you no matter what will never ever change. He is the greatest love story ever known! The happiest of all endings is Jesus! For this we rejoice today at His revelation and at His resurrection from ALL THINGS DEAD!!
So Father, in the mighty name of the Risen Lord Jesus, I declare hope to spring forth today to all weary souls. I call forth lives to be restored to a living hope by the power of God. I declare that the revelation of Jesus is greater than the revelation of all circumstances. And that no sin and no circumstance can have greater power than Your love. I believe in you as my happy ending to all things…all things present and things to come. I re-engage where I have fallen into self pity and hopelessness and I take up my shield of faith and sword of the Spirit. I believe in you Jesus. I believe in your resurrection power to empower my dead bones to live again! I will not give up this power any longer. I assert that my grief is not my defeat! I thank you that I am your child and that I was bought at a high price and that you live evermore to save me and give me a living hope! I give you glory, honor and praise ahead of time for all that you are and all that you are going to do!! In Jesus Name! Amen