No doubt you too have been watching as the fires swept through the beautiful Smoky Mountains and surrounding towns. Such a disaster and some of it caused by people setting the fires for attention. I won't even go there.
We (my family) had relatives and friends to lose their homes. We also watched as they reported on places we had visited which were destroyed. We live less than an hour away from the area.
Honestly, as the reporters would stick the microphone into the face of one of the evacuees, I cringed. Always the same insensitive question: "So how do you feel right now?" I understand that people wracked with emotion or falling apart makes for good TV. But I truly winced every time and didn't want the person to be exploited just for their reaction.
But God. Yep, He showed up in this disaster and in the reports seen on TV. I will applaud the stations for not cutting Him out when mentioned.
One man was obviously drained and emotional, yet he proclaimed the hope he had no matter if he had lost all his possessions. His hope was in the Lord. I practically cheered. What a testimony!
That man wasn't the only one who talked about their hope in Jesus Christ. Many spoke of prayers being the best way to help.
My friends, you can lose every material possession, including house, car, and clothes but still have hope and joy. Why? Because those who have Christ as their Savior and Lord, Leader and Boss, have the hope of glory. They can have a joy in the middle of the hardest times. Their joy doesn't depend upon anything earthly. They have the promise of eternity. They have the promise that they are never alone. And God can bring good from any circumstance.
As my pastor/hubby says: "God's kind of hope isn't a pie in the sky, I hope it will happen, kind of hope. God's kind of hope is confident expectation."
God sent us hope at Christmas time, and He wrapped it up in the person of Jesus. Let's review that hope:
Jesus paid our sin debt so we have the hope of a relationship with God.
Jesus conquered death by rising from the dead, which gives us victory too over something that seems hopeless like death.
Jesus prepares a place for us to live with him throughout all eternity. That's hope!
Jesus declared that he would be with us always. That grants a hope-filled life here.
This God kind of hope is evident, especially when people experience trials. Let's face it, Christian sisters and brothers, if we truly hold to the hope God has granted, we will act differently than those who don't possess that hope.
Sure, even those filled with Christ-hope who lost their homes and barely escaped with their lives still felt loss and had moments of sorrow. But as the Bible says, they don't have to grieve as those who have no hope.
Continue to pray for and help the people of Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas. Be on the look-out for when you might share the Hope you have - Jesus in you, the hope of glory!