Volunteering at our local pregnancy center is one of the highlights of my week. I love it. I love serving our clients, helping to meet their needs, and sharing the love of Jesus in tangible ways. I love telling them of His love and mercy found in the cross and the salvation He offers.
I also love spending my Wednesdays with my fellow volunteers. These women, my friends and sisters in the Lord, are serious about following Christ. They earnestly desire to bring glory to God not just through their work at the center but in all things. I love being around them. I love their passion. I love the godly examples they are to me. I love that we are friends. I love the easy camaraderie we share. I love those ladies!
One of my friends from the center underwent a very serious medical procedure several months ago. There was risk, as with all medical procedures, but this one in particular carried the potential for very serious implications if all did not go as planned. The day she returned to the center was a day of great celebration! I will never forget our giddy joy as we ordered in lunch and sat at the table in the office, eating, drinking, celebrating together. It was a great day of rejoicing in the Lord's goodness and faithfulness, one I will always remember. The Lord is good! His mercies endure forever!
Last week we received news that another of our group is facing a serious diagnosis. Cancer. It doesn't look good. Our hearts are broken. She is courageous and has testified that she only wants the Lord to be glorified. We are praying against this horrible disease, we are pleading for her life, and we are believing God to grant her peace and strength. We want her to return to us, healthy and whole, not just for us but for her husband, her daughters, her granddaughter. We want another celebration, another meal in which we boast in the Lord's goodness and revel in His joy. For this we pray even as we trust the Lord and His good, acceptable and perfect will.
I am so grateful for my friend's faith and for her determination to honor the Lord no matter what. I am also thankful that because of Jesus we have hope: hope that all things work together for our good, hope that nothing comes to us apart from His sovereign will, hope that whatever He asks of us, whatever comes to us, it is keeping with His purposes and His plan, hope that this world is not all we have, hope in the glory of Jesus.
Our hope is not wishing for something that may or may not happen. Hope will not disappoint, that He promises us. Because of our faith in Christ, our hope is a confident expectation. We know. We will celebrate together. Perhaps around the table at the center eating lunch out of styrofoam containers--(Oh, yes, Lord, may it be)--or perhaps at the banquet table to come, when all the saints of God gather for that eternal, glorious celebration of the Lord's glory! What joy we will know then!
My friend's hope lies with Christ. She trusts Him. I am so grateful that her hope is not merely for this life only! One day faith will be sight and we will behold Him, our blessed hope, the eternal Son of God!
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Rom. 5:1-5
I know that my friend's situation is not unique. It seems as if there are many, acquaintances and family both, who are suffering heartache and pain. Some are enduring great loss. Some are facing an uncertain future. For us all, our only hope is Christ. He alone sustains. Seek Him. Trust Him. The Lord is good! His mercies endure forever!
"Hope", originally posted 3/11/10
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
"Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation." (Is. 25:6-9)