So speaks a man with the world at his feet, suddenly and permanently paralysed – the best Superman of the bunch of them….. it’s strange, but, as I so often pray for people who are so, so sick, desperate, in chronic pain, or looking death imminently in the eyes, I have some ‘christians’ having a go at me (much more so than the ‘Christians in waiting/not-yet-Christians’ – they tell me it’s unfair to give people who are ill, or their relatives HOPE….
How totally absurd and unbiblical is THAT? Jesus is HOPE, hope for the hopeless. I don’t know about you, but if I’m in a desperate situation, I’d much rather live with hope than live with hopelessness. That’s the only other alternative. Many of you know that early this year, one of my dearest, closest, best mates, Martin Collins, died with bowel cancer, only 59 years old. Not long after, I was hit with the same ‘guessed diagnosis’ a couple of months later. I ‘lived’ with that threat hanging over me for 3 months, and it was especially real because of Martin’s early arrival in heaven. I ‘lived’ in hope with the Collins family for some months, and had to choose to live in hope again for myself.
I know that ‘what you say is what you get’ isn’t true in the Kingdom of God: but many people lose hope, faith, perception, and perspective when faced with a crisis. Hope is a God-given gift, and for me, I just tell people who criticise praying ‘hope’ into people’s lives, where to go….
Jesus came to give life, hope, and healing. No, it doesn’t ALWAYS work – at least, not in the western world – YET…. but it will, if we choose it. I’ll close this little diatribe (!!) by re-quoting a wonderful Reinhard Bonkke quote I re-posted on Facebook earlier:
‘The Gospel introduces Jesus and abolishes religion. Jesus didn’t come to save religion. He came to save people! Also, He didn’t just deliver sermons; He delivered people! “I have come to set the captives free”, was His agenda. Rejoice.’