Tuesday, September 1, 2009

True Hope

I saw a quote today. It said that "True hope is believing God is good no matter what He decides to do."

I like that quote and I dislike that quote. I love the quote because it is true that God is good. I dislike the quote because I know that God doesn't always decide the way that I think that He should.

God is in control even when my circumstances look bleak. God is in control when my circumstances look great. I guess the real question is, "Do we trust God no matter what?"

I am comforted in knowing that God loves me so very much that He will do what is best. The best is not always in my comfort zone...but I have made a choice that I will believe in Him and His plan...no matter what. God has a way of taking the worst case scenerio and turning it into something good, not just good but amazingly good!

Remember the story of Lazarus? If you would like to read the story it is found in John 11. Jesus loved this family. He heard the report that Lazarus was very sick. Jesus didn't rush over to their house and heal him. Verse 4 says, But when Jesus heard about it he said, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death. No, it is for the glory of God. I, the Son of God, will receive glory from this."

I have to tell you that Lazarus dies...but it didn't end there. He was all stinky because he had been dead for four days. If I was one of the sisters I would be thinking that the circumstances didn't look real hopeful to say the least. They were grieving. But they had the same advantage that we have...they knew Jesus.

He felt compassion for his friends. They didn't understand why He allowed Lazarus to die. They even questioned Him. The Word says that He was deeply troubled and that He wept. He had said from the beginning that the situation would bring glory to God.

But when I read the passage I saw one thing that caught my eye. The conversation between Jesus and Martha...Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish. Do you believe this, Martha?" "Yes, Lord," she told him. "I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God."

She chose to believe even after her brother died. He had been dead for long enough to start stinking. It didn't turn out her way and yet she chose to believe. She had hope in the Eternal Life Giver. She was grieved in her heart for the loss of her brother and she didn't understand but she chose to believe.

The ending turns out better than you can imagine! Jesus had them roll the stone from the grave and He prayed out loud so that everyone would hear Him and believe. He called out, "Lazarus, come out!"

Lazarus hopped out all bound up in the grave clothes. Jesus told them to unwrap him and let him go! What a joyous occassion! Now Lazarus was still stinky but I am betting those sisters were so glad that they didn't even care! He turned their mourning into dancing at that very moment.

Let me add that there was no doubt that Lazarus was dead. Jesus took the impossible and made it possible.

Do you have "True Hope"? Do you believe that God is good no matter what He decides to do? It won't always turn out the way we think it should or will but I can tell you that He will use it to bring Him glory. He will take something broken, stinky or worn out and make it like new again. I have seen Him do it over and over again. It might not be comfortable in the process but the end result is amazing. Better than we can imagine...just decide to trust Him. He loves you.