Monday, April 20, 2009

The Desperate Need for Hope

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Bad news seems to be the theme of our times. Each evening the television news is full of stories of violence, corruption, greed, immorality, financial crisis, and the loss of freedom. Our society seems to be disintegrating before our very eyes, and it is, all in fulfillment of end time Bible prophecy.

In February, the Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills, California, hosted its annual Bible Prophecy Conference. The pastor, Jack Hibbs, expected the attendance would be off due to the financial crisis. But exactly the opposite happened. The church experienced a record turn out of over 4,000 people, 1,000 of whom had to be put in an overflow hall!

Pastor Hibbs concluded that the theme he had selected for the conference was the reason for the incredible number of people who showed up. The theme was "Finding Hope in the Global Crisis." The interesting thing about this theme is that it was selected many months before the collapse of the stock market in September of last year.

The relevance of the theme was impressed on Pastor Hibbs a couple of weeks before the conference when two families came forward for prayer at two different services on Sunday morning. The first was a lady and her small children who were grieving over the loss of their husband and father who had hanged himself because they were about to lose their home to foreclosure. The second was a woman and her children who were also grieving over the suicide of the head of the family. He had shot himself over the loss of his job.

These tragic situations impressed upon the pastor how much people were hurting and how desperately they needed to sense some hope.

I had been asked to speak on "What Happens When You Die?" But after hearing these stories, I decided to focus on the hope we have in overcoming death and living eternally in a perfect new world, free of pain and suffering.

I experienced one of the most enthusiastic responses to my presentation that I have ever received. It obviously spoke to the congregation's need for hope.

Normally at such conferences, invitations are never offered, but because I was the last speaker on Saturday afternoon, before the break for dinner, I decided to offer an invitation for people to come forward for prayer. The response was absolutely overwhelming. The church's prayer team joined with me in praying for people for the next one and a half hours.

I ask that you, too, share the message of hope — the soon return of Jesus Christ — with everyone you come across today. Maranatha!

8 comments:

hartdawg said...

heaven is not only our blessed hope, it seems today it is our only hope. is it just me or does it seem in this life when you get something you desperately want or think you need, pray for, yearn for and long for when you finally get it instead of being satisfied you're worried cuz you got it now the pressure is on to keep it? it seems that way to me

Wayne_from_Jeremiah_Films said...

I've linked to your post from Demoralized enough yet in the "current headlines section"

In the post I share what I have been blessed to witness:

My life tells me he is wrong on this belief. You see, I have seen broken and demoralized people suffering from feelings of being ineffective, inadequacy, discouraged, frustrated, ashamed or unhappy, depression - let me add hopeless and joyless. Let me also add people so demoralized that they ended up in many cases homeless. I've been blessed to witness the personal miracles of these people getting their life put back together, their remoralization.

The cure a Hand from a Christian, it does not take 15 years, most often is about 1 year. 52 sessions of Sunday service at the local Church with expectations of additional service to the church services like inviting others to Easter Sunday service. Encouragement to place trust in the Lord and follow his commandments. And day to day practice of living as instructed in the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hartdawg,

I understand what you mean. What we THINK we want isn't what we really want, is it? What we're sure we need, often isn't what we really need! We think it's things (sometimes people), but what we really want and need is more of Jesus.

And all the church services, serving at church, and following God's commands just don't fill that void. It's simply and only Jesus and relating to Him!

We make it so hard sometimes, but yet, it's not. It's Jesus and Jesus alone. Don't give me your rules, or your "have-to's," or "should's" or "ought-to's"! It's about knowing our Lord and being known by Him. It's about responding to His love because He first loved us!

Laura

son of thunder said...

Amen to that, Laura. Anything we put in place of God - possessions, religion, career, whatever - is ultimately meaningless.

It's not that we shouldn't "have" anything nice (John wrote that he hopes we prosper as our soul propspers), but we shouldn't put all our hopes in those things.

That new car will eventually get dinged. The picture on that HDTV will fade. Those $200 Jordan's will fall apart. Economies collapse. Jobs go away.

God never does.

It's sometimes hard, but when we watch the news and see what's going on from a Biblical perspective, we should all say, "Hallelujah!"

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone who posted here and Amen! Hope is what drives me, and I think many people fall into the same category. First, the hope that I have in a better tomorrow through the love of Jesus Christ our savior. We must stay focused on the heavenly things that have been laid before us. and secondly the love I feel for my family, in a way I can symphasize with the men who abandoned their families due to a loss of their job and foreclosure issues. Daily I get up early in the morning to spend time with God, and to pray for God's watch over my family and all those in need. So with God on my side, I assess my families daily needs and then begin to work towards meeting those needs. This drives me to not only get up early, but to work harder each and every day to ensure that I am doing all I can to ensure my family and others that I can help along the way are taken care of. I feel it is my duty as a husband and a father to provide both physically and emotionally to my family and that God smiles when we are doing so, and of course he is there helping us along the way. Therefore, when all hope is lost, and when what drives us to keep working hard is lost, some resort to cruel and unspeakable actions in an effort to escape.

It is so sad to hear of those who feel they must remove themselves from this life due to circumstances, somehow feeling that if they go away their family will be ok... This is Satan at his best. To those who are contemplating taking their lives and possibly their families with them I say: DON'T, STOP, REACH OUT TO GOD, GET ON YOUR KNEES and GIVE GOD A CHANCE!!! Regardless of losing a job, income or home, a Father and Mother have responsibilities and regardless of how bad things get, you're family needs you, they are not better off without you. You not only hurt them more through abandonment, but you also make life harder for them. In these cases, where there once was two spouses working together for the family, now there is only one, how can this be easier? QUIT BEING SELFISH!! I may not be qualified to even speak about this, but darn it, some things are just common sense! This w/e I grieved over 8 children and a Mother taken from this life by selfish Men. Why, why, why???? It just crushes me to no end, to hear of Childen being stripped of their chance to live... Jesus Please Help Us!!! Amen!!

In Christ - David

Billy said...

I agree with Dr. Reagan, I didn't know what hope was until I understood Bible prophecy.

It's keeps me going to know that this very day could be the day the Lord comes to take me to be with Him and be reunited eternally with my Grammy, brother Steve, Aunt Betty and all the rest of my loved ones and other Christians that have preceded me in death. Not by my death, though possible, but rather by the hope of the Rapture. How wonderful it would be to be instantly transformed in a perfected body without experiencing death and the end times tribulation. That is where my hope comes from. My joy comes from the forgiveness of my sin by the blood of the Lamb.

Donald Dolmus said...

"La paz os dejo, mi paz os doy; YO no os la doy como el mundo la da. No se turbe vuestro corazón, ni tenga miedo. Estas cosas os he hablado para que en mí tengáis paz. En el mundo tendréis aflicción; pero confiad, Yo he vencido al mundo" - Jesus in John 14:27 y 16:33.