I have a couple of blog thoughts right now, but I will just post one at a time. This one strikes me right now because there are a lot of hopeless people out there. There is hope for them, because those are the people whom God will bring into His kingdom. They are the ones who will have the dramatic testimonies and radical conversions.
In Jesus' day, He encountered two groups of people; those who were hopeless, and those who had false hope. Those who had false hope, were not hopeless, but their hope was in themselves, and they were being successful on making themselves successful. They were deceived because they were trusting in themselves and did not have a need for hope. They were not desperate. They were living a lie.
Jesus said that He came to came not to help those who don't need a physician, but for those who were sick (Remember, Jesus is the Great Physician). Those who are well do not need to see a doctor. Those who are sick are the ones who go to the doctor. They want to get well. The problem in a fallen world is that we are all sick. Spiritually speaking, none of us are well. Some of us think we are though.
Today, in America especially, we are not hungry for God. We are not desperate for Him. We don't need anything because all our needs are basically met. But if we go to some places in Africa or India, you will see people who are hungry for knowing God. They do not have all the bells and whistles that Americans have and they have time to think about God in a clear, realistic way.
All of our toys and goodies actually distort our view of God. We can easily think that if we play our cards right with God, He will bless us. We use God as in idol, or a Genie in a bottle, instead of the One who created us to worship Him. We are so wrapped up in our activities and jobs that we only turn to God when we need something. We are blinded to our need of God because of all the things we have. We don't see Him clearly, and we don't see our need for Him. We are not hungry for Him, nor are we desperate for Him. We are not hopeless because our hope is in the things we have instead of in God.
While I say this, I am totally aware that there are many, many Americans who actually are desperate for God. There are people who are in prison, and have no where else to turn. There are many who live in places where their homes or dwelling places are dangerous or substandard. There are those who make less than minimum wage and can barely make ends meet. And there are those who have everything materially, but are struggling in their relationships. Many suffer mentally and have deep, serious mental illnesses. Lots of people feel trapped and are stuck in a situation or sin that they can't seem to be free from.
This second group has much more hope than the first group I described, because they are not deceived. They can see what is really important. Sometimes, blessings, or things that we get that make us happy, can be a hinderance, not a help, in our relationship with God. Prosperity can be a curse, not a blessing. We could be the richest person in the world, but not a penny of that will help us on Judgment Day.
If you happen to be one of those who are hopeless today, you are in for some good news! If you can see God as your only hope, you can turn to Him, and He can be everything to you. But if you do not want to turn to Him, there is no other place to go for hope.
You might be rich and have everything that is out there, but you might be realizing that all of these material things are really empty. That is a good place to be! You might have a 6 digit salary, but you know something is missing. God invites you to come to Him as well. Stop trusting in your material goods and be willing to let go of them, and turn to God for your hope. When you come to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith, you will never be the same.
Those who come to Christ in repentance and faith, are born into God's family. Each person who comes to Christ has a new nature and the power of God lives in him or her. God has such a wonderful life planned for those who know Him. He will never turn anyone away who comes to Him in repentance and faith. (Repentance is simply turning from living for yourself and turning to God and trusting in Him).
The devil has two lies concerning hope. One of them is that we are not hopeless and we can put our hope in things instead of God (rich people are rarely hopeless because they trust in their riches). The other lie is that there is no hope anywhere. That lie leads people to commit suicide. It leads people to live defeated lives and keeps them in a state of hopelessness until they know that their hope can be in God, if they turn to Him.