• on February 20, 2017

The Story of Hope: Hope For The Lost

by Daniel Burton

There have been numerous stories I have heard and a few that I have experienced where you have prayed diligently for a person. For some its a son or daughter who has strayed from the faith.  For others, it’s a family member or loved one.  Even for some its a friend you deeply want to be welcomed into the family of God.  You have done everything you are supposed to do; invite them to church, share the Gospel, live out your faith, but for whatever reason the person simply has not responded to the call. Our fear that they will not heed the call of Christ in their life rises up and chokes out the hope.

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish

– Matthew 18:12-14, NIV

I think deep down, we fear that those we love will not make the commitment to follow Christ.  Furthermore, we understand the consequences of that.  We understand the cost of not following God and the severity of what that means. While I cannot say that everyone will come to God, I can say that God is not finished in pursuit of His people. Even if there is only one person who has not responded to Christ, God still seeks them.  He is a God who never quits and has worked the impossible in the hearts of man. We can take hope in God because He is in the business of saving souls.

God Works In The Impossible Scenarios

At the core of our fear that people will not come to Christ is thinking that they may be beyond the reach of God.  For whatever reason, we fear that God is unable to turn their hearts. Yet, the narrative of God in his saving of humanity is a story of doing the impossible and unthinkable.  God has a longstanding history of doing the impossible in the world.  There is no situation that is outside of the reach of God.

HopeIn the same way that, despite all odds, God was able to reach us, we can take hope for those we care about that God is fully capable of reaching the world.  Just as we were known by God before we knew God, salvation’s call still rings loudly.  The basis for our hope rests in God’s ability to accomplish what we cannot. We trust God to handle the impossible situation.  We do our best to represent God to the world.  We take hope in knowing that God is in control and works miracles in the hearts of people.

God Isn’t Done Until He is Done

This is not to downplay the urgency of what is going on.  We have no guarantee how long we have and no guarantee of how long our friends and family have.  There is, indeed, an urgency in people’s need for a Savior and in coming to faith.  Yet, we must never forget that our fear and worry comes despite our faith in thinking that God cannot save.  This, however, is simply not true.  At some point we were against God and sinners, yet God worked a miracles in our lives.

HopeThis is the hope that we have, not only for ourselves and our eternal fate, but also for the eternal fate of those around us.  God is pursuing.  Actively.  God is still calling his people and drawing them to himself.  The desire of God is that all should come to Him and every opportunity presented.  He is saving His people and will not stop until the end. As we stand in hope, continue to lift up friends and family in prayer, but take hope knowing that God is sovereign and is not ending His pursuit.

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