Your Only Hope

We live each day with the hope of retirement. The hope of enjoying the
fruits of our labor in our golden years. The hope of taking a much needed
vacation, buying a new car, a house or other material things in life. Very
seldom do we think what tomorrow will bring. We live everyday with
anticipation and hope for tomorrow. For some tomorrow will never come.
Recently tragedy struck a very dear Christian family with whom I have been
close friends for several years.

The young wife, a mother of two children, had become gravely ill with
acute liver failure. She had taken medication for an infection and had an
adverse reaction to it, which destroyed the liver. Her only hope for
survival was a transplant. My wife and I went to see her in the hospital.
At the time she looked and felt fine. The doctors were hoping that her
liver might regenerate itself, but it didn't.

One week later this young mother of two was on death's door. Her body was
slowly poisoning itself. My wife and I returned to the hospital to visit
and offer our prayers. All of the young lady's family was there. Tears were
shed. Hopelessness was on the family's faces. I talked with my friend who
had been informed by the doctors to prepare for the worst. She was not
expected to live through the night. It was evident that only a miracle from
God would save her life. The doctors had told him that there wasn't a liver
available for a transplant. If a liver could be found it would have to be
an exact blood and tissue type match. Not to mention the time it would take
for one to arrive possibly from another state. Time certainly was not on
her side. Her kidneys had ceased to function and she had slipped into a
coma. Death was just hours away.

My friend told me his wife had said earlier that if her dying would bring
anyone in her family or friends closer to Christ, it would be worth it. She
was not afraid of dying because for her to be absent from this life meant
she would be in the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I thought
to myself what faith and trust this woman had. To be that strong in the
face of certain death, required a real inner peace. The peace that only
comes from knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior.

We returned home from the hospital later that night. My wife and I were
heartbroken and burdened by this young couple's dilemma. I wondered how my
friend would get along without his wife, and the children, how would they
accept this tragedy? We prayed for them and then went to bed. Deep down
inside I knew we would hear the next day that she had died. I didn't want
to see it happen. This is the kind of tragedy you hear about, that happens
to somebody else, never someone you know. The thought of this took me back
to the time when I watched my own mother die and go to be with the Lord. It
still hurts to think of a loved one or a close friend dying. I don't think
you ever really get over it but by the grace of God you get through it.

At about 3:00 a.m. I awoke with my heart burdened for this young Christian
family. I felt as though God wanted me to pray for her right then. I knew
that all over the area several prayer vigils were being held. Many churches
had them on their prayer list.
I went into the living room to pray for her and her family. I felt that
maybe she had already passed away. Fighting back the tears from the burden
I felt for my friends, I tried to ask God why. Instead all I could pray
was, "Lord you're her only hope for survival." Then I felt as though the
Lord were saying, " Yes, I am the only hope for all mankind's' survival."
If we will just accept him as Lord and Savior and put all our trust in him.

The next evening we were at church reviewing our prayer list when we
learned she was in surgery. A liver had become available in such a short
time. The right blood and tissue type, it was a perfect match! Yes, someone
had made the ultimate sacrifice. Someone had shed their blood for her.
Someone had laid down their life for her. Doesn't that sound so familiar?
The doctors told my friend the surgery would last from eight to ten hours
unless there were complications.

She would be unconscious for several days from the anesthesia. Well, the
doctors did a great job because God was guiding them every step of the way.
The surgery only took four and one half-hours. The doctors were amazed at
how smoothly the surgery went because it had never been done this fast
before. About an hour after surgery she awoke and the next day she was
sitting up in bed. On Friday she was up walking! Everyone, even the doctors
and nurses, were calling it a miracle from God. It could not have happened
any other way because the Father's hand was in it. For the chain of events
to take place in this short amount of time was miraculous.

My wife and I returned to the hospital on Saturday to visit. We were in awe
to say the least. To see her walking, talking, and praising God was
fantastic. She shared her near death experience with us and we were deeply
moved. God had taken her so close to death and brought her back for his
honor and glory. We all cried and prayed thanking God for what he had done.
It really struck home what I felt God had shared with me a few days ago.
That he was Mankind's' only hope. Each and every day we are dependent on
God almighty to get us through the day. This Christian family put all their
trust and hopes in the Lord. The Lord was their only hope. He was her only
hope for life. And God chose to perform a miracle in her life.

Someone did lay down his life and shed his blood for us. His name is Jesus.
The question today is where are you putting your trust, your hope? Are you
putting your hope in things of this world or are you entrusting it to
Jesus? If you are a Christian, your hope is in Christ. If you're not a
Christian you can gain this hope by trusting the Lord as your Savior. If
you die without Christ then all your hope is lost for all of eternity.

God wants you just the way you are. It doesn't matter how good a person you
are or how bad a person you are. It doesn't matter to him what kind of sins
you have committed in life. He wants to forgive you. The Bible says in
Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." If
you die without accepting him as your Lord and Savior it will be too late
to change your mind.
Too late for those who will say I was going to accept him. Too late for
those who would say I wanted to clean my life up first and then accept him.
In Romans 6:23 the Bible says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift
of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

If you will accept his Son and confess him to be your Lord and Savior he
will do the rest. There is no greater gift you could possibly get than the
gift of eternal life. It's so easy to do. In the book of Romans 10-9:10 it
tells us, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and
shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou
shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and
with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." And in verse 13, "For
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". This means
anybody can be saved no matter what. Won't you turn your life over to him
today? Receive the gift of eternal life that can't be taken away. Jesus
said in John 14-6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to
the father but by me." Jesus loves you and wants to forgive you of your
sins. He wants to be your Lord and savior today. If you will just accept
and trust him today. He is your only hope.

Inspired by: My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him I give all the Glory
and Praise.
Ephesians 2:8-9

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