Monday, October 29, 2012
The God of All Hope Will Restore You!
There are times when everything goes wrong and the enemy sets a plan in motion to kill off the very thing that has our heart's desire. People are left with nothing but ashes of yesterday's promises. God wants you to know that out of the ashes of loss, and out of the pain of your yesterdays, He has a plan to bring new hope. There are more people than we can count that feel this sort of pain every day. I'd like to draw your attention to one couple in the Bible that knew this heartache, too. Their names were Adam and Eve. They lost one son to death at the hands of his brother, and the one that murdered was cast out of the land as a vagabond with a curse all the rest of his days. It caused tremendous heartache to Adam and Eve. Then, after a time of grieving, a seed of hope was planted for their future.
Genesis 4:25 “And Adam knew his wife again and she bore him a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.”
With the death of Adam’s first son, Abel, and the expulsion of Cain being cast out of the land with a curse (read Gen. 4), Adam and Eve faced a loss of hope for their future. They had no son to carry on their line for the birth of the promise of the Messiah. Although they may not have been aware of the Messiah coming from their lineage, and although it was many, many years in the future, God had to have a plan in place to insure that the promise in HIS heart and of His purpose would eventually come to pass. It wasn’t just their hope that had been cut off, but hope for the future of mankind.
I want you to know that when the enemy has set in motion a plan to kill off your inheritance, God always has a seed of hope waiting. God was compelled to bring forth a new son - the hope of a new promise. The name Seth is related to a Hebrew verb meaning, “to place” or “to set” for Seth was appointed to take the place of the murdered son. Even when the enemy has done all he can to kill and destroy what you thought contained all the hope for your future, God always has a plan to restore hope!
Another story worth consideration is found in Joshua 3. It is the story of Rahab the harlot. The Israelite army approached Rahab's city of Jericho. Can you imagine what it looked like to her, watching the army marching toward the city, knowing full well that the army would bring death and destruction right to her family, friends and neighbors, and into her very home? All of Jericho had heard of the Israelites and the God that fought for them. Now they were on the way to destroy the city and everyone in it. The people's hearts were faint with terror and they had no courage to fight. Even Rahab made the confession that she knew the Lord had given them the land. Her land. Fear had taken over. Have you ever faced a situation where fear and impending doom was stronger that faith? This is what Rahab felt. She knew her hope was about to be cut off, and that of her family as well. Then, to make matters worse, God brought the enemy right to her very doorstep! Two spies came to the house of Rahab because they knew that local news would be readily available in the house of a prostitute. This is where gossip abound and secrets were traded. It was a very strategic move on the part of the spies. When the king heard about their whereabouts, he sent a search party to go find them. But look at how the hand of God worked in this situation: the spies were trapped, and Rahab needed a miracle to save her household. Other people in the city of Jericho may have been calling on the name of their gods, but Rahab knew her only hope was in the God that fought for the Israelites. She had to re-evaluate her loyalties and make an important decision, but it became a life-changing decision. It was the moment of crisis that caused Rahab to reach out to the God of the Israelites and take a step of faith. She offered kindness to the spies, and they in turn offered her the hope of salvation. In that moment of desperation, a miracle was being formed. They came up with a plan. She would hide the spies from the approaching soldiers and helped them escape. They would agree to spare her family from the coming destruction and she was to hang a scarlet cord in her window as a sign of their secret agreement.
Now, Rahab lied and actually gave up her entire city to the destruction. Many from Jericho, if they had known what she had done, would probably have said she acted dishonorably and her actions where those of a traitor. I'm sure plenty of them would have felt very offended, not having an opportunity to make the same deal as Rahab did with the spies! Yet, God chose to honor her act of faith. She was an unlikely recipient of God’s grace and goodness, but GOD CHOSE her because she had already been chosen to be in the genealogy of the coming Messiah. She didn’t know it, but God had chosen her to be the recipient of an incredible miracle. Her hope was not to be cut off. God intervened just at the right moment to give her hope for the future!
Dear friend, know that God has a plan to re-write your future any time it's needed. If the script of your life needs an over haul, He is already in the process of writing it. Don't be discouraged no matter how things may look at this present time. God has a seed of hope just waiting for you! The key here is to ask Him to give you understanding so that you know how to pray. If you are persistent, He will lead you into revelation by His Holy Spirit and show you exactly what you need to know. Pray in faith upon what you know He has shown you and it will certainly come to pass. You never have to fear!
More tomorrow in part two, "Your Hope Will Not Be Cut Off!"