Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
“How are you doing?” I asked. The elderly woman who had been going through a pretty rough time responded, “I’m hanging in there. God is with us.”
“How are you holding up?” The father in the hospital waiting room replied, “I don’t really know, but God has a plan.”
I’ve witnessed it countless times. When life gets hard, and circumstances leave people feeling powerless and helpless, Christians find the ability to express hope fueled by their trust in God.
Who is this God? That’s an excellent question because the true answer is the difference between hope that is wishful thinking and hope that is an unwavering confidence.
Who is this God? He seems to be shrouded in mystery, described with terms like: eternal, holy, righteous, almighty, source of everything that exists. These terms make it clear that God is nothing like us and can certainly leave us with the feeling that he is so big and distant that we can’t really know him.
Admittedly, a God who is far-removed and unknowable would not be all that comforting. Thankfully, we don’t have that kind of a God. We have Jesus.
God became one of us. He lived in our flesh and blood in our world. He experienced all the pain, suffering, heartache, and temptation that our world has. He spent time eating with the outcasts, touching the unclean, and loving the sinners. He allowed himself to be arrested, beaten, and executed even though he was certainly powerful enough to stop all of it. He suffered punishment that he did not deserve because he didn’t want you to have to suffer it. Then he came alive again, defeating death, and rose from the grave.
Intimately familiar with everything you are going through because he experienced it all himself, kind and compassionate, loving, selfless, merciful, gracious, and powerful—that is Jesus. That is your God.
Trust in him brings real hope. It’s not wishful thinking. It’s the solid confidence that the One who loved you enough to die and is powerful enough to overcome death, loves you enough to know what is best for you, and is powerful enough to accomplish it.
Jesus, thank you for becoming one of us and dying to save me from my sins. Thank you for showing us what God is like. Keep my eyes focused on you and give me hope, confidence, and peace. In your name I ask it. Amen.
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