I don’t know about you, but I could use a little hope right now. You may have noticed I missed posting a “Word for the Week” two weeks ago. Honestly, it was because I was in such a season of lament. I couldn’t think of any words other than lament, despair, aftermath, etc. (At some point I will do a blog post on lament. I just didn’t have the emotional energy to write it that week.) All of us have been through a bit of a storm lately with the COVID-19 pandemic and the collateral damage that ensued. Unemployment skyrocketing with some 30 million people losing their jobs, their livelihoods, and some even their businesses. At the same time, there’s a whole sector of people who are being overworked and threatening to strike. Some have lost loved ones to the disease.  Many are risking their own lives to serve others. And most everyone has been affected by the anti-social effect of social distancing.

For Marlina and I, our livelihood has been directly affected with the loss of speaking engagements, counseling, and cancelled hikes. Add to that, our son being in a near-fatal wreck, an un-visitable hospital stay, and an erroneous police report creating unbelievable stress. And on top of all that, I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety again. 

It’s been the Perfect Storm.

Last week, I realized I needed to go back and read my own book, Desperate For Hope, because I was really struggling. (Sadly I found there was a chapter called, “It Can Always Get Worse.” Thanks Bruce.)

But I remembered again what hope really is!

Webster’s Dictionary defines hope as, “to desire with expectation of fulfillment.” I like that, but I don’t love that. Because there’s a big difference between expectations and reality. Often we confuse hope with a “wish.” Like, I wish this pandemic would end. I wish we could find a cure for cancer. I wish everyone would be kinder. 

But hope in God is different than simply a wish! It’s a sure thing. It’s a desire with the absolute certainty that it will be fulfilled! This is where faith intersects hope. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

So here’s some hope-filled things we can be sure about through faith:

  • Our sins are forgiven because of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.
  • We’re adopted into the family of God as His beloved sons and daughters.
  • We can never be separated from the love of God. Not even by death.
  • One day we’ll be resurrected into a new life where there’s no more sickness or death.

In Revelation 21:3-5, Scripture gives us a glimpse of the next life. “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (NIV) No more sickness. No more pain. No more crying. No more death.

For the old order of things has passed away. I just love that!

Friends, that is HOPE. One day, God will make everything new. It’s not wishful thinking, it’s an absolute certainty. 

The Journey of Hope

Our world is in an unprecedented season of suffering right now. More than ever, people are looking for hope. But lasting hope doesn’t come from a miracle cure, a vaccine, stimulus checks, or an economic windfall. Long-term hope, hope that doesn’t disappoint, comes from God. 

I had “hoped” to do a “Scars of Hope” speaking tour this year, but with the whole pandemic thing, that’s not happening right now. So I’ve been praying about how I can share this message of hope with as many people as possible during this season. All of us are having to be super-creative in a rapidly changing world, so here’s a creative way I came up with to share the hope of God in this time of crisis: The Journey of Hope

It’s a collection of hope-filled resources that I pray will help many find their hope in Christ. You can get it for yourself, a friend, family member, or a co-worker. Anyone you know that could use a little hope.

The Journey of Hope package includes:

  • A copy of my book, Desperate For Hope, personally signed and shipped anywhere in the United States. 
  • A 30-minute counseling session with me via video for anyone you choose.
  • A 30-minute video of the powerful message “The Scars of Hope” that I gave at the Speak Up Conference last year.  I have shared this message of hope at churches, conferences, and women’s retreats and seen God work in profound ways to heal people from years of bondage to pain from their past.
  • A PDF of “The Scars of Hope” slide presentation and notes for you to follow during the video.
  • An invitation to the “Journey of Hope” Facebook Page where you can interact with me personally and ask your questions.
  • A 28-Day “Journey of Hope” video series beginning on Monday, May 4th. (This will be made available to everyone on my personal Facebook page.)

This  package is valued at over $110, but I am making it available for the suggested price of just $40. However, as with everything I offer, you can set your own price. I don’t believe discipleship should be limited to only those who can “afford” it. (There is a minimum of $10 to cover the cost of the book and shipping.) You can get more information and purchase your Journey of Hope package here.

I truly believe this Journey of Hope collection will encourage people who are struggling, give them true hope, and point them to God, the author and finisher of our faith. Thank you in advance for helping me get the word out!