Our world is full of people who feel like there is no hope. People are just hopeless. The Easter holiday is all about hope. Let me share a few HOPEFUL Bible verses.
- – “Going a little farther, he fell on his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” – Matthew 26:39
Jesus knew he was soon to be arrested, beaten and killed. He simply prays for another way. But Jesus understands something. He knows that God the Father knows best and therefore he trusts him. There have been times in my life that I asked God to stop the pain I was going through. Then I have to stop and pray the same prayer Jesus prayed – “Not my will, but Yours.” I simply need to trust that Father truly knows best.
- – “They twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. They spit on him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.” – Matthew 27:29-30
When I was younger, I got picked on because I was a Christian. I got thrown into trash cans, spit on, made fun of and more. I had started to really feel sorry for myself until a pastor reminded me that Jesus went through so much more for me. Jesus went through excruciating pain. He got whipped, beaten and mocked and didn’t say a word. If Jesus did all that for me, my response is to live for him.
- – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
When my son was about 1 ½ years old, I experienced one of the scariest things I have ever been through. My son had spiked a fever very rapidly. All of a sudden, he began to have a seizure. I was frightened and didn’t know what to do. We called 911 and he was taken to the hospital. I drove down while my wife went with my son in the ambulance. When I got to the hospital, I got to his room as soon as I could and I see my son lying there in bed with all kinds of tubes and IV’s hooked up to him. As I sat there in the room looking at my son, I distinctly remember God saying to me, “I know what you’re going through. I gave up my son for the world.” God the Father loves us so much that he willingly let his son suffer and die for us.
- – “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'” – Luke 23:34
Imagine being chained to a big heavy ball that you must carry around all the time. Imagine how hard it would be to do anything. It would be hard to walk, extremely hard to do even mundane activities. This is what it is like when you do not forgive. When we choose to not forgive someone, we are their slaves. We carry them around with us wherever we go. I remember a man years ago who spread some nasty rumors about a member of my family and I was furious. Guess what? I carried him along with me for months and it was hard to do lots of things. It was hard to love my wife because that guy was always right there with me. It was hard to go to church and worship because there he was. Then, I realized, “If Jesus can forgive these men for doing such awful things to him, I can surely forgive this man.” And I was FREE!
- – “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” – Matthew 28:6
“Your mom has a brain tumor” were the words I heard my dad say to me but I just didn’t want to believe it. Those are words you don’t want to hear. I recall how devastated I was and really how hopeless I felt. It was an awful time but I also remember the joy that I felt when my mom had surgery and became cancer-free, praise be to God! I wonder if the disciples had similar feelings. They had followed this guy named Jesus around for a few years and really believed that he was God, as he said. But now he’s dead. Now what? Talk about hopeless! Those had to be an awful few days. But then the unspeakable joy when their Savior has risen again. He is alive!
I don’t know what hopeless situation you may face today or this year, but always know that because of Easter, because of God’s love and His resurrection, there is always hope. No situation is hopeless because of the Easter story.