When We've Lost Our Hope: Jesus is the Answer
Recently in a Bible Study, we talked about this story from Acts 3, when Peter healed the crippled man who sat beside the Gate called Beautiful. And ever since then, I've kept thinking of it again and again. It seems to be such a personal reminder. Because at times in life, we can all possibly relate to this man who sat by the gate.
Maybe because there have been times when we too have felt crippled in this life...by illness...by fear...by worry...by sin...by defeat.
"One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John..." Acts 3:1-4
Maybe there are times that we've sat in our state and have stopped moving forward. We've become content just to sit in our condition, thinking it'll never change anyway. Or we just really don't know what to do, or even how to pray. Maybe we even start thinking that we're somehow destined to remain in a hopeless state.
But God's truth breaks through. His reminder comes...bringing hope, and healing.
Peter said to this man who was crippled, stuck in despair, 3 things that may help us today:
- "Then Peter said, Look at us!" v. 4 - There's power in lifting up our eyes and looking to the strength and Might of the One who can truly set free. Let's get our eyes off the obstacles and tough situations, focusing on Him who says "Nothing is impossible with God..." Matt. 19:26
- "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you..." v. 6 - God often wants to give us so much more than what we're asking for. He sees the big picture, He sees way beyond our current situation and what seems to be our biggest need. He works in ways we can't always understand, but it's always with our best in mind. Often we ask only for blessing or enough to get us through, yet God has the power to answer in much bigger ways. And we can know He is with us, He cares, He knows our needs, and will never ignore our cries for help.
- "...In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." v. 6 - His reminder comes, get up and move. Through the power of His name. Even if it's just a step. Even if it's a crawl. Just do the next thing we know to do. We may not have everything figured out, we may not be able to see the whole path moving forward, but God never wants us to stay stuck in our circumstance, no matter how hard it may be, crippled in defeat, fear, or hopelessness. He has so much more ahead.
"Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him." Acts 3:7-10
Christ Himself is the Gate called Beautiful. Acts 3:1 reminds us that this story took place at 3:00 pm in the afternoon, the very same hour that Jesus had died on the cross some days before, opening the way for us to receive forgiveness and healing. Coincidence? I think not. For God's timing is perfect. Temple veil torn in two from top to bottom, when our Savior breathed his last. Death and sin defeated, new hope offered. He made a way for life, for freedom. In our deepest needs, in our most crippling moments of life, we can come and sit at His feet, knowing that the Gate is open.
He is Restorer. Redeemer. Healer. Counselor. Friend.
And He has good in store.
May His huge grace cover us all today.
There is Power in the Name of Jesus.
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, hope-filled lives. Find her also atWeb Site and Twitter.