The early Church was a hospital, in the sense that the duties of the elders included caring for the sick among the congregation. Ancient medicine used what was readily available…olive oil, wine, balms, and salves for cleansing, soothing, and treating the body. The Lord wants the modern Church to incorporate the same” hospital concept” today. Every Sunday hurting people come through the doors needing healing of mind, body, and spirit…and it’s up to us to minister to those needs.
As Jesus said in Matthew 7:16-17, ” By their fruit you will recognize them.” It’s not good enough to just talk the talk…we must also walk the walk. We can preach all day to our friends, neighbors, or co-workers, but it’s how we act and the things we do…or don’t do, that they’re really watching. Our faith…our obedience, is shown by who we are, and our actions towards others.
Satan is a liar and the author of all corrupted half-truths. So it’s no wonder that today’s world system has been conditioned by his lies. For the unbeliever, hearing the Gospel message is foreign…with farfetched concepts, and ideas that are just too bizarre to be taken seriously. Their minds have been made dull by the world’s perception of truth, and they feel no need for the Gospel in their life. It’s only when the penetrating light of God’s truth breaks through, that the blind can then see.
Any blockhead can work themselves up into a frenzy of rage and anger when things don’t go their way. But it takes real Herculean restraint to remain in control of your emotions when things get heated around you. What spills out when you’re jostled by someone else’s anger or when you don’t get your way? Violent fury or restraint?
The word of truth – the Gospel Message – is the saving truth in which we must believe in order to obtain forgiveness of sin and eternal life. The word of truth is a light and guide for our journey in this world…making our path illuminated and straight. Our responsibly is to heed and obey that word of truth.
That deep inner psychological sense of hope, confidence and expectation can only be reached and fully satisfied when we allow the Lord to fill that “God shaped” void inside us. And that wonderful transformation then allows us to “spill over”….for the God of all hope fills us to over flowing so that we might give that hope to others.
The deepest abyss a human can know is to be without hope…and separated from God. For the unbeliever, all hope ends at death…there is nothing else to cling to. And fear manages to erode away at what little time they do have here on earth. Without hope there is only dread and despair…without God there is only emptiness.
Our hope rest solely in the Lord and nothing else. And when we abide in Him and His mighty power, (Ephesians 6:10), that courageous side of us comes out and we’re able to persevere under tremendous pressure…because our strength comes from Him.
Jesus proclaimed this not only to those He was speaking to at the time, but to us now, today. Jesus has already done the work…the devil has been defeated…we don’t have to allow fear, doubt, and hopelessness to govern our lives. So the next time doubt and fear hits…take a deep breath, and in the space of that breath…pray, ” Lord, I know You’re here, and I know we can face this together. Give me courage to move forward and to not give up. Amen.” For I know with God we are more than a overcomers.
Hopelessness can take on many faces, and be caused by many different reasons. But regardless, that bitterly piercing anguish of losing hope takes our spirit to the very depths of despair with seemingly no way out. The paralytic had lost all hope…there was nothing left for him to do but die…but then Jesus spoke hope back into him. You too may be facing hopelessness today…allow Jesus to speak hope back into your life right now…and believe.