The devotions this week featured key words that are, for many, hard to swallow and even harder to digest:
♦ Surrender ♦ Slavery ♦ Failure ♦ War
Each was presented in a biblical context to give us hope that:
(1) Victory results when we surrender our wills to that of the Lord.
(2) Freedom found only in Christ breaks the chains of slavery to sin.
(3) Deep, abiding faith is often born out of abject failures.
(4) Peace that passes all understanding can be ours even in the midst of spiritual warfare.
Today our focus is this hope to which I referred above. Most people reach a point in life when we come to the realization that human hope is little more than wishful thinking. It has no basis in reality or foundation upon which we may build, much less cling to, such hope.
As discouraging as that is for most, in Christ we have certain hope. That may, again, seem somewhat of an oxymoron, but if you examine the Scriptures, it will become clear and make perfect sense. Here are a just a couple of verses to help encourage your heart when circumstances overwhelm, people disappoint, or it seems Satan has a special posse whose assignment is to attack you on every front.
♦ Hope in and through the written Word of God (Bible) – “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NIV)
♦ Hope that is alive because Christ died and rose again just as He promised. – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1: 3 NASB)
“Now may the God of all hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15: 13 NASB),
Monday past, more than 250 men including many sons, gathered at the Nashville Rescue Mission for a Christmas celebration. This event was born out an idea the Holy Spirit put on my heart many years ago as I was driving home one night after teaching the men in the life recovery programs there. For more than a dozen years now, I have invited generous men from churches and the burbs around metro Nashville to come and bring gifts for these men to get acquainted and hear their stories.
In addition to some great music, I teach a short message in which I always share this thought with the desperate men from the burbs.
We are only one or two bad decisions from bunking with these men at the mission!
Since I always brought my sons when they could attend, I started inviting other men to do the same. Based on the testimonies of the sons and dads, that has turned into quite a blessing and memory for them as well. Perhaps the most memorable part is what you see in the picture in the featured image above. Each year after the sons pass out the new study Bibles to the men in the programs, I ask those men to come up, encircle the sons, and pray over them – that they will grow up strong in the Lord and make good life choices. It is a powerful time.
The short video below was graciously shared by my friend and NRM CEO, Glenn Cranfield to help support our menistry, Desperate Men. I hope you will listen and please give as generously as you are led to help sustain and expand this work.
Desperate Men exists to encourage and equip men from all walks of life to help build an army of biblical Christian men for such a time as this. I do that directly through my writing and teaching, our website and social media, and partnering with other ministries and churches as you can see from this post.