by: Steve Fawcett
Welcome to Pathways four weeks of prayer event! Thanks for being a part of this. We might not be able to meet together for a short time but one thing we can do which can actually do much good is to pray. During these days we want to pray that God will protect His people from serious illness, give wisdom to those who are looking for helpful treatments, give wisdom to our national leaders as they seek to lead and guide, to give protection to all the front line health care workers who are facing this pandemic openly, that the gospel will go forth and give hope to millions of new people, as well as that God will bless Pathways Church. These blessings may be in spiritual growth, numerical growth, financial growth, in power and love and fruitfulness or in some combination of these or many other types of blessings. Let’s pray and see what God will do as we pray in faith, knowing that the full outworking of His blessings may be well into the future.
Why four weeks? Well, there is nothing magical about that number, but we do know it takes close to that to establish a daily habit. And that is one of the goals. So, Lord willing, this daily devotional will come out five days a week for the next four weeks.
I hope that each of you will pray as you feel led. If you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, He will! Jesus challenged His disciples by saying: “Could you not tarry one hour?” Perhaps you will feel led to pray an hour a day during this time. Also, that hour need not be all at one time, maybe 20 minutes a time, three times a day.
For the record, I think it’s less about your plan and more about your motivation. If you are desperate to know God more He will honor your plan.
Besides, what a much better way to spend one’s
time than to constantly monitor the TV channels or internet feeds! Pray that this will all be done soon! So, keep the faith, stay calm, stay in touch, we’ll be back together
soon! Yes, our daily routines are being upset; I believe that might likely turn
out to be a good thing. We’ll be
fine. ‘This truly is a
day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’
1. Humans must have hope to live. People will cling to their hopes, even false hopes. T hey have to. We can’t live without hope of some kind. Hopelessness is not an option. Nothing would be attempted without hope. No businesses would be started without hope that it might succeed. No investments made, no schools attended, no relationships entered into, not even children would be planned without hope.
Hope gets us out of the bed in the morning. If one lost all hope, they would be paralyzed. Our newspapers are filled with the sad stories of what people do who have lost hope. When people lose hope, relationships end, kids dropout, businesses close, people die. A number of years ago, I preached in a prison on the island of Trinidad. I preached on hope. Many in that prison had given up, they had lost all hope. I wanted to give them hope, hope in God.
All around us and throughout the world, we see people clamoring for some sliver of hope. The fear of death by some virus has so many locked in its grip. And in this time when so many people have lost hope in financial institutions, governments, and other organizations, the people of Christ need to proclaim there is hope. For as we know, with God there is always hope.
Now what does biblical hope look like. Well, for one, it looks ahead.“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”1 Peter 1:13
Think about what the world would feel like
if there was no hope of heaven. What would you say at the funeral of a loved
one if Jesus had not come? There would
be no hope beyond the grave. You could not talk about heaven, or any reason to
hope for eternal life with God — just the cold reality of death.
If Jesus Christ had not come, there would be no book of Revelation; no hope for a returning Savior who would overcome the world and open heaven for us. There would not be any hope of a resurrection. There would be no eternal life. Nothing to anticipate, except the closing of the casket lid and the coldness of the grave. But because Jesus came, all that has changed!We live in hope, in joyful anticipation of what is yet to come.
The hope of heaven is like a Christmas gift. At this point it is still wrapped. But the package has our name on it. We know what awaits us .It is ours. We would never have received the gift if Jesus had not come. But He has and so we wait longingly for the day when we will enjoy the gift of heaven in all of its unwrapped wonder. And it will be far better than anything you could possibly imagine. Biblical hope looks ahead.