Where's the Hope? - Encouragement for Today - June 11, 2019
June 11, 2019
Where’s the Hope?
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
How had it all happened? What had she started?
It seemed like such a good idea at the time — the right idea. But then, as soon as Adam also took a bite, Eve knew. They both knew. They had been so very, very wrong. And now the damage was spinning out of control. Those intimate conversations with the Lord were no more. Home was no longer home.
And now this.
Her older son killing her younger. The unraveling wouldn't stop, and she knew the falling apart had started with her. As Ephesians 2 describes the situation, Eve was now dead in trespasses and sins, “following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2, ESV).
Was there to be no hope?
Have you ever experienced a pain similar to Eve’s? The knowing that it all began with you? If only you had made the right choice when you had the chance.
But you didn't.
And now …
It doesn’t have to be just “big things.” The small habit that became big. The distance that grew more than the day before. Our mind drags us back to all the tiny things, one wrong choice after another, that led to this. The hundreds of tiny failures that have brought us to this hurt we are experiencing today. This disappointment. This brokenness. This failure.
I think I understand Eve a bit.
Not the depth of pain she would have experienced with losing a child, but the possible wondering, Is all this — this huge mess — my fault? We are trained that “success” and “failure” all come down to someone. Someone gets the credit, and someone takes the blame.
The amazing thing is, there is One who gets the credit and who took the blame.
Jesus. He gets the credit for loving us when we were unlovable, and He took the blame for our sin that was not His own.
There in the garden, the perfect Father looked at His imperfect child with love. Even as He took the rib from Adam’s side, He was fully aware of the choice Eve would make. The choice against His perfect love, and yet He still chose to create us humans and to love unconditionally. His love for us was (and still is) a fierce love, a never-failing love.
As today’s key verse says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Even as the failures of His creation kept coming … Eve’s decision, Adam’s collaboration, Cain killing Abel … God’s love for us, for all of humankind, didn’t diminish. It only grew more and more intense until the pinnacle of His choice. The choice of the cross, where His love was the same as ours: the color red.
Yes, we have sinned. Each and every one of us. For those of us who have asked for His great forgiveness and surrendered our lives to His control, there is mercy. We are made alive in Him … even while we were yet dead in our transgressions.
Here in this place of living out our redemption, we can have hope for the future. No matter our circumstances today, God can redeem it all. And not only for us, but for others. God’s kindness and mercy is available for those furthest from Him.
All because of, and out of, His great love.
Dear Jesus, thank You for Your great love for me. Thank You for your rich mercy and making me alive in You. Thank You for saving me by Your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (NIV)
Is there a young girl in your life who has yet to know Jesus’ great love for her? She’ll appreciate Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You by Lynn Cowell. Help her discover where to find the love she longs for when you stop by our bookstore to purchase.
Fear is a liar. Take your life back through the power of Scripture! Join us in our next 5-week Online Bible Study with Wendy Blight’s book, Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story starting Monday, June 17. Click here to register.
Do you long to know this forgiveness and love which Lynn wrote about? Stop by her website, here, as today she shares how to be forgiven and experience this love.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Many have heard of Jesus, but know little about Him. Would you like to accept Jesus as Lord of your life? We’d love to help you do just that. Click here to learn how, and let us know in the comments if you make this decision today!
© 2019 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.