Focus: Putting all of our hope in God
Romans 8:24-25 (NKJV) For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
As hard as it is to admit, the way most of us learn best is through ‘experience’. When embarking on life’s journey as a young adult, we think we know more than enough. We wouldn’t dream of asking for help—and we sure don’t want advice. During the young impulsive years, we often spend more than we earn and if we are able to get credit cards, we will probably end up with a pile of debt. We have ‘hope’ that we will be able to make our payments, but the truth is, we just don’t have a lot of wisdom. We don’t want to ‘wait’ for things. We want it all—and we want it now.
The result of not being able to wait for things is a common cause of depression and addiction. When we’ve allowed ourselves too much liberty, it becomes awkward to face the truth. No wonder so many people seek ways to ‘escape’ from reality. So much grief could be avoided, if we could only realize the benefits of learning to wait. Great peace comes when we put our hope in God and trust Him to provide for our wants and needs.
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When we have received consolation from the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, we become ‘a carrier’ of His mercy and comfort. It isn’t that we ‘become God’, it’s that we become carriers of the help He gives. When we are faced with someone who is struggling in an area where we have struggled, we are not only able to empathize with them, but we can lead them to our Heavenly Father, who is the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.
There is a beautiful story told by Jesus in Luke 10:30-35.
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed—leaving him half dead.
Now by chance a certain Priest came down that road, and when he saw the wounded man, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where the wounded man was. And when the Samaritan saw him, he had compassion. So he went to the man and poured oil and wine on his wounds and applied bandages. He set the man on his own animal, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
On the next day, when the Samaritan departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.”
There is nothing to prove my theory about this story, but I like to imagine that the Samaritan had once traveled that same dangerous road and was attacked in a similar manner. The Priest and the Levite had never been through anything like that. When they saw the wounded man they had no idea how to relate to him. They were only concerned for their own safety, so they passed by on the other side of the road—or ‘kept their distance’. The Samaritan knew exactly how the wounded man felt and couldn’t leave him in that condition. It’s possible the Samaritan cared for the wounded man in the same way someone else had cared for him in his own time of need.
When you come to the place on your recovery journey where you are able to turn your attention to others, you will find you have the gift of being able to relate to their suffering on a special level. The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t just ‘sympathize’ with them. Those who are wounded need to be taken to a place of true safety—our Father of mercies who is the God of all comfort. As you keep directing them to Him—in time—they may find the same comfort you found…and it’s possible they could receive their own ‘gift’ that they may someday share with others.
Declaration: I will find new strength by discovering that my gift is to share the mercy and comfort I have received from Father God with others who need Him.
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For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, https://www.youtube.com/user/NewStrengthMusic/playlists?sort=dd&view=1
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.