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Great Reason For Hope

By Rich Carmicheal

    Are you in need of hope?  If so, I encourage you to take to heart this precious word about Christ:

    “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).  All hangs upon this one thing (as simple as it may seem) that if Christ is present (which means nothing else than that God is present) anything is possible at any moment.  Are you waiting for some day when things will be better?  It is not a matter of time at all, it is a matter of Him.  He says [in effect], “I am time and eternity all in a moment, and you need not accept anything in the matter of time; you accept Me, and you may be well-nigh dead in the morning and be very much alive before the day is over.  ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’”  Mary said, “I know that [Lazarus] will rise again…in the last day.”  For her resurrection was a matter of time.  Oh no.  Resurrection was right there!  – T. Austin-Sparks

    What a great reminder of what is possible in our lives when Christ is present and at work!  The reality is that if He is present, then “anything is possible at any moment.”  As long as we have Him, we have hope, no matter what the situation or how great the need!  In fact, the greater our infirmities and difficulties, the more we are able to discover how all-sufficient and able He is.  As we turn to Him, we can hear Him share with us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9); and we can respond with great confidence, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).  He is our strength – and everything else that we need!

    Because of who He is and what He is able to do, there is hope for all things – hope for deliverance, salvation, forgiveness, healing, sanctification, spiritual victory, restoration, revival, and the list goes on and on.  “Oh, that we should lay hold of that more, live on that, never surrender to conditions, never surrender to the inevitable from the standpoint of the human, but say, ‘We have Him; He is our future, He is our circumstance.’  Anything can be at any moment with the Lord present” (T. Austin-Sparks).

The Potential of Prayer

    With all of this in mind, may we fix our eyes and hearts on Christ, draw near to Him, and depend fully upon Him for all we need.  And may we pray all the more and with great expectation.  As the article by Charles H. Spurgeon (pp. 3-4) reminds us, we can, because of Christ, “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

    And as we pray, let us ever keep in mind promises such as these regarding the unlimited potential of prayer:  “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13); “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7); “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).

    This brings to mind something a dear friend recently shared with me after he had assembled a number of testimonies from his church family of incredible answers to prayer:  “People have been raised from the dead, been healed of deadly diseases, had financial needs met against all the odds, been freed from addictions, and many other wondrous miracles.  If you knew what I knew about how God has answered prayer in our midst, you’d be on your knees for every problem you had.”

About This Issue…

    Along with our hope in Christ and the potential of prayer, themes in this issue include:  a call to prayer for revival, a call to personal spiritual growth and consecration, the glorious reality of Christ in us, and the need for watchfulness and readiness for Christ’s Return.  May the Lord stir our hearts accordingly!

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