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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

With a Glimmer of Hope

Halford E. Luccock shares this story in his book, Unfinished Business:

"One night at dinner a man, who had spent many summers in Maine, fascinated his companions by telling of his experiences in a little town named Flagstaff. The town was to be flooded, as part of a large lake for which a dam was being built. In the months before it was to be flooded, all improvements and repairs in the whole town were stopped. What was the use of painting a house if it were to be covered with water in six months? Why repair anything when the whole village was to be wiped out? So, week by week, the whole town became more and more bedraggled, more gone to seed, more woebegone."

Then he added by way of explanation:

"Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present."

Isaiah spoke about Jesus hundreds of years before Jesus' birth. Matthew reached back to that prophecy to help us understand who Jesus is and what He came to do. Jesus came to bring hope to the world. Hope is so often in short supply in our world. Fear and negativity can cloud our vision of the future. Jesus has come for those whose hope is failing.

Isaiah put it this way:

"A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out" (Isaiah 42:3 NIV).

Matthew quoted him,

"He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. And his name will be the hope of all the world." (Matthew 12:20-21 NLT).

His name is not only the hope of the world at large. He is the hope for the weakest and smallest person. He is the hope for us all. He takes us, weak as we are, and builds on the smallest glimmer of hope.

Jamie Buckingham quoted Hugo Gryn, a London rabbi, in Charisma magazine. Hugo told of a holocaust experience in the German magazine, Der Morgen:

"It was the cold winter of 1944 and although we had nothing like calendars, my father who was a fellow prisoner there, took me and some of our friends to a corner of the barrack. He announced it was the eve of Hanukkah, produced a curious-shaped clay bowl, and began to light a wick immersed in his precious, but now melted, margarine ration.

Before he could recite the blessing, I protested at this waste of food. He said, 'You and I have seen that it is possible to live up to three weeks without food. We once lived almost three days without water. But you cannot live properly for three minutes without hope.' "

No matter what we face today, Jesus is our hope. Even if we're weak and our hope is small, He has come to give us a bright picture of tomorrow. We can rest in that.

Copyright © 2014 Wally Odum, used with permission.

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