Thursday, May 2, 2013

What a great weekend! Incredible, would be the term I would use to describe my experience this weekend, specifically Sunday. It was Celebrate Recovery Sunday at Believers. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to share our CR story with the main church body once a year. Our pastoral staff gives the entire Sunday morning service to Celebrate Recovery.

This year I thought it would be good for someone who has never gone to CR to give a testimony concerning how the ministry has made a dramatic difference in their life due to a close family member’s involvement. It was a riveting, powerful story of extreme crisis in their family, to the point of hopelessness, and how God has brought them through this time to new life, new dreams and a glorious hope.
I shared a personal story related to hope also, as the theme of the message. The CR band did a fabulous job and their song selection focused on hope. One song said “let hope arise and the darkness tremble.” I believe hope did arise in many hearts this Sunday morning in our church. And to top it off, it was opening weekend for the movie “Home Run.” Talk about a movie with purpose: it was the No. 12 movie this past weekend and finished as the No. 3 movie in per-screen average among those films! If you haven’t seen the movie or didn’t know already it has a powerful message of hope.

So what is it about hope anyway, that is so empowering? The bedrock of hope is love, the bible says love never fails. We can hope because God loves us with an undeniable, everlasting love. He proved it beyond any question through the sacrifice of his own son Jesus Christ. Hebrews 6:19 CEV says, “This hope is like a firm and steady anchor for our souls. In fact, hope reaches behind the curtain and into the most holy place.” Hope touches the very heart of God. We can hope in a good God, a loving God who will go to any lengths to redeem us. “And this hope will never disappoint us. We know this because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit he gave us.” Rom 5:5 ERV

“There is no medicine like hope. No incentive so great and no tonic so powerful as the expectation of something better tomorrow.”
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”

The bible says, “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping,,,”
That’s the message, there is hope for you, hope for your loved ones and hope for your circumstances. And you can hope even when it looks totally, completely hopeless, even when it looks like it’s over, done, no hope.

Yogi Berra, that great theologian said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
God says it’s not over even when it’s over! (Think about that for a minute.) There is always hope in God. Christ came out of the tomb, there is and will be a resurrection.
“O death where is your sting? O grave where is your victory?”
  Hope when it is hopeless, what an amazing gift!

A LIFE WITHOUT CHRIST IS A HOPELESS END, WITH HIM IT IS AN ENDLESS HOPE.



Let hope arise and darkness tremble,
Jim & Pam

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