Hope out of Tragedy
by Andy Cokayne 31 August 2022
Reading: Luke 7 v11-17
Sitting one day with a friend on a station platform, this poster caught my eye. It reminded me of a story Luke records where Jesus encounters a woman who was about to bury her only son. The woman's situation is dire, she has lost her husband and now her only son, has died, her last means of support. She is probably past the age of child bearing, and therefore may not marry again. Unless a relative comes to her aid, she will be left penniless and her future will be bleak. People may try to take advantage of her, and she may be reduced to begging for food to survive.
She is exactly the type of person Jesus has come to help. When Jesus sees her, Luke says, 'His heart went out to her'.
When Jesus raises her son from the dead, he makes the point of giving him back to his mother. She and her dire situation are the focus throughout. Luke is saying that Jesus notices the broken and hopeless, and is moved by their plight; so much so that he brings hope out of tragedy and restores the widows son to life.
In every season of life, whether we are celebrating or mourning, wrestling or rejoicing, questioning or trusting, we can hold fast to hope. The bible says, "In God's great mercy he has given new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." (1 Peter 1v 3). Our hope is living and active because of and through Jesus Christ. Paul knew that the church in Rome was undergoing great trials, and so wrote to them with these words "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15 v13) and again "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." (Romans 12 v12).
"Jesus gives us hope because He keeps us company, has a vision and knows the way we should go." (Max Lucado). "Our world today so desperately hungers for hope, yet uncounted people have have almost given up. There is despair and and hopelessness on every hand. Let us be faithful in proclaiming the hope that is in Jesus." (Billy Graham).
Song: Casting Crowns - God of all my days
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Lord Jesus help me to remember that no matter, what I feel like, where I am, or what is ahead, nothing is hopeless because you are there alongside me, and you will help me through. Thank you. Amen.