Doctors say many people die because they have no hope that they will recover from a severe illness or surgery. People who live without hope, goals, dreams or a vision are missing one of the most important experiences in life. When I hear Christian having times of depression, negative fears, living without hope, I have to believe they are not living and believing the promises of Christ.

If you read Scripture that tells us we are born with a purpose for life and God has a plan for us, how could we not have hope? Hope is based on expectations and God says He will meet our needs and give us peace and prosperity. It is sad to realize that people without hope do not believe there can be hope.

Have you talked to a person having serious problems and explain that Christ can change their life? Most will change the subject, because many times they don’t expect anything can change their circumstances. If you really talk seriously with them, their past and their conscience keeps them from thinking of succeeding in life. Many of us, in our younger years, have failed or have a past that takes away any hope we may have had for a successful future.

If you have no hope because of your past life, you know that God forgives and erases all of our sins if we accept Christ as our Savior and receive the Holy Spirit. Many cannot forgive themselves and they have little or no hope that they can become a success. The Bible is full of leaders for God who have done worse sins than many of us. Moses murdered an Egyptian. King David committed adultery and conspired to have her husband killed. Abraham lied saying his wife was really his sister. Jacob took his brother’s birthright and his mother helped pull it off. Why do you think the Bible gave us these many examples? God wanted us to know that He would forgive and change who we were and give us another chance. Christians must believe there is hope to become a new person with the past erased.

Paul writes to the Romans 8:5–11 “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” NLT

Accepting Christ requires a repentant heart and a desire to go a completely different direction. There can be no relationship with Christ unless the Holy Spirit is within you. Salvation is not necessarily a feeling. It is God’s promise that if we accept Christ, we commit and surrender to Him and He will allow the Holy Spirit to come into our lives. Once we receive the Holy Spirit our spirit and our attitudes turns from possible despair to hope.
Romans 8:14–18 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

As we receive the Holy Spirit, God adopts us. We are given a new identity being sons and daughters of God. In Roman culture we would have been given full rights of our new family and became a full heir to our father’s estate with a tremendous hope for our future. God’s children learn to face major problems and obstacles in their lives with joy and a peaceful heart. Why: Because as God’s children, we gain all the privileges and responsibilities of a child in God’s family. Therefore, we are no longer a slave of sin and the world’s ways, but the Master’s children and a new hope for the future. As children we are asked to live as Christ lived. We are to serve others, resist pressure to act as the world acts and be willing to give up some rights.

Our earthly problems and displeasures are nothing compared to the rewards we will receive in heaven. Christians should be able to handle our sufferings better than a non-Christian. Not because we have a high tolerance to pain or because we enjoy being hurt, but because we have the ability to see the big picture and hope for the future will be better.

How should a Spirit-filled, mature Christian deal with pain and suffering? We must realize it is the result of the curse placed on man for his disobedience to God. It is not a personal consequence to anything we may have done, except we receive what we sow. Sickness, misery and continuing problems are not a punishment; they are part of the curse.

Having had heart surgery in 1984 and continuous problems since and prostate cancer since 1997, I always had hope that I would recover. That has been 31 years. Would I be alive today if I had no hope as the doctors say causes death? If you pray daily and read your Bible also, you must have hope that God will meet your spirit, physical and financial needs. That is not just a hope that is a promise from God.

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